Els-Immelman pairing confirmed for 2019 Zurich Classic
Fellow South African Immelman won the Masters in 2008; Els has four major championships in his Hall of Fame career
NEW ORLEANS — International Presidents Cup team captain Ernie Els, who has won the U.S. Open and The Open Championship twice each, will team with 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman in this year’s Zurich Classic, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
“This team adds two more major champions and players with extensive international team experience to our field,” said Worthy. “As Presidents Cup captain, Ernie’s being here helps highlight the potential connection between our unique format and the biennial International team competitions,” added Worthy.
Els joins 2020 Ryder Cup captains Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington in the Zurich Classic, giving this year’s field three of the four captains for the upcoming biennial international team competitions. In addition, Els’s teammate Trevor Immelman is one of the assistant captains for the international Presidents Cup team.
Els has won 19 PGA TOUR events and no fewer than 47 international tournaments in his Hall of Fame career. He currently ranks eighth in all-time PGA TOUR winnings with more than $49 million.
His last victory on the PGA TOUR was the 2012 Open Championship with a birdie on the 72nd hole to edge out Adam Scott by one stroke. That same year Els lost in a playoff for the Zurich Classic. Els also finished third in the New Orleans tournament in 2001.
In addition to his four major championship victories, Els has finished second six times in major tournaments.
In eight Presidents Cup appearances, he is tied with fellow Hall of Famer Vijay Singh for most matches (40) and ranks as the all-time leader in points won at 21 for the Internationals.
He also played on five World Cup teams and nine Dunhill Cup squads.
Fellow South African Immelman has won twice on the PGA TOUR, including the 2008 Masters after missing the first eight weeks of that season due to treatment and recovery from a benign tumor the year before. Despite scoring a double bogey on the 70th hole, the par 3 16th, Immelman finished with a score of 8 under par to win the Masters by three strokes.
He also finished fifth in the 2005 Masters and tied for sixth in the 2007 PGA Championship. In addition, he has won nine international tournaments. He was named 2006 Rookie of the Year on the PGA TOUR, when he scored 15 top 25 finishes in 24 starts.
He played on two International Presidents Cup teams and four World Cup squads.
The Zurich Classic is the only team tournament on the PGA TOUR season. Since launching the team format two years ago, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans has drawn some of the highest ranking fields for any regular-season tournament on the PGA TOUR. In 2018, the tournament field included six of the top ten players in the world; all four reigning major champions; the U.S. Ryder Cup captain and six members of the U.S. team along with the European Ryder Cup captain with four of his co-captains and six players on the victorious European team.
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 $36 million to date for children’s charities in metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge. More information at http://www.forekidsfoundation.com.
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 22-28, 2019 at TPC Louisiana in Avondale. Purse for 2019 totals $7.3 million, with each member of the winning team earning $1,051,200.
Single-day grounds tickets are only $35 and weekly passes are $85. Single day tickets for the two most popular hospitality venues on the PGA TOUR start at $85 for Acme Oyster House and $185 for The Champions Club. Kids 17 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult holding a grounds ticket. Other choices of suite and specialty venue options are available by calling the Tournament Office at 504-342-3000 or online at www.zurichgolfclassic.com.
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