For the first time in nearly 36 years, the PGA Tour has an official team tournament on the calendar with the new-look Zurich Classic in New Orleans.
There will be 80 two-man teams competing in alternate-shot and best-ball formats at TPC Louisiana, prompting many of the world’s best to alter their schedules so they can play with their buddies.
Some of the teams, such as Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, have had success in the past and make sense. Other pairings have us scratching our heads.
In no particular order, here are some of the teams we are intrigued to watch:
Rickie Fowler – Jason Day
Day has only one top-10 in the past eight months but Fowler has played strong golf in 2017, highlighted by a win at the Honda Classic. The two are both ranked in the top 10 in the world and are among the favorites in the bayou.
Jordan Spieth – Ryan Palmer
The Texans matched up after Spieth lost a bet to Palmer’s caddie during a friendly round at Trinity Forest in Dallas last November. Spieth could have played with anyone – including close friend Justin Thomas – but he decided to go with the veteran who is 17 years older.
Justin Rose – Henrik Stenson
Although Stenson has missed the cut in four of his past five starts, Rose has a close call at The Masters and three other top-four finishes on the PGA Tour this year. Rose also won the Zurich Classic two years ago. These two have been strong partners at the Ryder Cup and should be right near the top of everyone’s list to watch.
Brooks Koepka – Chase Koepka
These brothers will be playing together in a PGA Tour event for the first time. Brooks finished second last week in San Antonio while Chase won an event on the Minor League Golf Tour. We’ll see if they feed off of the family connection or end up at each other’s throats.
Rocco Mediate – Spencer Levin
No partnership has a greater disparity in age than Mediate, 54, and Levin, 32, who came together after Mediate met Levin’s dad during a round of golf last fall. It will be just the seventh PGA Tour start for Mediate since joining the Champions Tour in 2013. There promises to be plenty of conversation here.
Kyle Reifers – Andrew Johnston
Reifers was supposed to get married this week, but a change in the wedding date freed him up to play. The only problem is that he needed a partner and wasn’t ranked highly enough to select one. That’s where Andrew “Beef” Johnston, also scrambling for a partner, came into play. According to Reifers, the two have joined forces and plan to call themselves “Premium Beef” or “The Beef Boys.”