Golf Glance: New Olreans team event on PGA Tour; LPGA returns to Merced

PGA Tour: Zurich Classic of New Orleans, April 26-29
TPC Louisiana, Avondale, La. (Pete Dye; Par 72, 7,425 yards)
Purse: $7.2 million; $1,038,800 to each winner
Defending Champions: Cameron Smith/Jonas Blixt
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2:30-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel), Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. ET (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS Sports)
LAST WEEK: Valero Texas Open (Andrew Landry)
THIS WEEK: The 2017 event was the first official team event on the PGA tour since the 1981 Walt Disney World National Team Championship. … The 80-team event includes a Four-ball format Thursday/Saturday and Alternate shot on Friday and Sunday. … The top 35 teams and ties will make the cut following Friday’s round. … Ten of the top 15 ranked players in the world are in the field, with Masters champion Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay the only team comprised of players ranked inside the top 15 in the FedExCup Standings. … The Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson team is the highest-ranked in the Official World Golf Rankings. They missed the cut last year. … Each team will select their walk-up song to be played on the first tee during the final two rounds. … 2016 European Ryder Cup teammates Sergio Garcia and Rafa Cabrera Bello are teamed up, as are Alabama alums Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley and Texas natives Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer. … Reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is paired with Marc Turnesa as he returns from a four-month layoff to recover from a wrist injury. … In the case of a tie at the end of the fourth round, Alternate shot will be used for the first sudden-death playoff hole, then alternate formats with Four-ball until the winning team is determined. … Smith and Blixt won last year’s tournament on the fourth hole of sudden-death after Kevin Kisner chipped in from nearly 95 feet to reach a playoff with partner Scott Brown. Smith sealed the win a chip to tap-in birdie range on the par-5 18th hole. … 400 FedExCup points and official PGA Tour money are awarded to all players, with both players on the winning team credited with an official victory that brings a two-year winner’s exemption and invites to Invitational fields, the Tournament of Champions and the PLAYERS Championship.
NEXT WEEK: Wells Fargo Championship, Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, N.C.

LPGA Tour: LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, April 26-29
Lake Merced Golf Club, Daly City, Calif. (Rees Jones & Dr. Alister MacKenzie, Par 72, 6,551 yards)
Purse: $1.5 million; $225,000 to winner
Defending Champion: Inaugural event
Television: Thursday-Friday 6:30-9:00 p.m. ET (Golf Channel), Saturday-Sunday 6-9 p.m. ET (Golf Channel)
LAST WEEK: HUGEL-JTBC LA Open (Moriya Jutanugarn)
THIS WEEK: Eight of the nine winners on Tour this year are in the field, as is Korea’s Inbee Park, who reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings this week for the first time since Oct. 19-25. The span of two years, five months and 29 days is the longest in LPGA Tour history between time at No. 1. Park passed China’s Shanshan Feng and American Lexi Thompson, who are also two of the top 25 players in the field. … This is one of three new events on the 2018 schedule and the final of six events in the tour’s West Coast swing. … 31-time LPGA Tour winner and Santa Cruz, Calif. resident Juli Inkster is in the field. Her most recent top-20 finish on tour was a tie for 19th in the 2016 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, which was held at Lake Merced Golf Club from 2014-16.
NEXT WEEK: Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic, The Colony, Texas

Champions Tour: OFF
NEXT WEEK: Insperity Invitational, The Woodlands, Texas.

–Field Level Media

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