Australian duo of Smith and Leishman team up for 2021 Zurich Classic
Cameron Smith was on the first Zurich Classic winning team in 2017 and Marc Leishman has won five times on PGA Tour
NEW ORLEANS — Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman, two of the top Australian players on the PGA Tour, will team up to play the 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
“Cameron is a past team champion in New Orleans and will partner with his Presidents Cup teammate Marc Leishman in this year’s event,” said Worthy. “They know each other’s game well, as they partnered on the 2018 Australian World Cup team,” Worthy added.
Smith, playing with Jonas Blixt, won the first Zurich Classic team event in 2017 in a playoff against Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner.
That was Smith’s first win on the PGA Tour. He went on to win the Australian PGA Championship the same year and then again in 2018, when he beat now-teammate Leishman by two shots. He won his second PGA Tour title at the 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii.
So far this season, Smith has been close to winning again three times, including a tie for second in last fall’s Masters. He also finished fourth in the Genesis Invitational and tied for fourth in the Zozo Championship.
Since becoming a full member of the PGA Tour in 2016, he has scored 21 top-10 finishes in 128 starts.
He partnered with Leishman in the 2018 ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf and brought his team within two strokes of the win when he holed out for birdie from a greenside bunker on the par-5 14th hole of the match.
He also played on the 2019 Presidents Cup team that lost to the U.S. on the last day in Melbourne.
Leishman has won five times on the PGA Tour to go with one European Tour victory and four wins in Australia. In 2015, he lost a playoff to Zach Johnson for The Open Championship.
His best finish this season was a tie for fourth in the Sony Open in Hawaii when teammate Smith was defending champion.
Leishman was voted Rookie of the Year in 2009 to become the first Australian to win that honor on the PGA Tour.
In 2015, he withdrew from the Masters to be with his wife, who made what was called a
“miraculous” recovery from a series of infections that put her into a coma. He returned to the PGA Tour at the Zurich Classic that year, finishing tied for 28th.
This will be the first time he has played in the team format of the Zurich Classic. After his tie for 28th in 2015, he finished 20th in the 2016 tournament.
He has played on the last four International Presidents Cup teams and competed on two World Cup teams in 2016 and 2018.
The Zurich Classic field so far includes half of the top 10 ranked players in the world.
Smith and Leishman join several other high profile teams previously announced to play the 2021 Zurich Classic including:
· Defending champion Jon Rahm, ranked 3rd in the world, with Ryan Palmer, ranked 26th.
· Collin Morikawa, ranked 4th in the world, with Matthew Wolff, ranked 23rd.
· Xander Schauffele, ranked 6th in the world, with Patrick Cantlay, ranked 10th.
· Tyrrell Hatton, ranked 8th in the world, with fellow Englishman and former Master winner Danny Willett.
· Billy Horschel, ranked 17th in the world, with former LSU All-American Sam Burns.
· Tony Finau, ranked 13th in the world with Cameron Champ.
The Zurich Classic is the only team tournament on the PGA TOUR season. Since launching the team format in 2017, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans has drawn some of the highest ranking fields for any regular-season tournament on the PGA TOUR.
About Fore!Kids Foundation:
Since 1958, the Fore!Kids Foundation has raised money to fund children’s service organizations through golf events like the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, The Holiday Auction Fore!Kids and several charitable golf tournaments. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, Fore!Kids has helped to raise more than $40 million to date for children’s charities in metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge. More information at http://www.forekidsfoundation.com.
Despite the cancellation of the 2020 tournament, Zurich Insurance donated funds to the Fore!Kids Foundation to make $1.5 million in contributions to area non-profits, the same amount as the year before.
About the Zurich Classic of New Orleans:
Televised in more than 224 countries and territories, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans generates a significant economic impact on the city of New Orleans and the entire state of Louisiana. Independent research has shown that the tournament generates spending of more than $40 million within the local economy and garners $33 million in positive national and international media exposure for both the city and state throughout the year beyond the four days of competition.
The tournament will be played April 19-25, 2021 at TPC Louisiana in Avondale. Purse for 2021 totals $7.4 million, with each member of the winning team earning $1,069,300.
Day-specific grounds tickets are only $35. In addition, the Best of the Zurich Class Pass offers a variety of dishes from some of New Orleans most famous restaurants at four locations across the TPC course. Additional ticket options are available by calling the Tournament Office at 504-342-3000 or online at www.zurichgolfclassic.com.
- < PREV LSU guard Javonte Smart to enter 2021 NBA Draft
- NEXT > Timmy Byrd departing Riverside Academy at end of school year