Apr 21, 2023 - Sports

This weekend, golf's a team sport

Matt (L) and Alex Fitzpatrick on the ninth green during Round 1. Photo: Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf will look much more similar than usual this weekend.

Driving the news: The Zurich Classic, which teed off on Thursday at TPC Louisiana outside New Orleans, is the only team event on the PGA Tour calendar.

  • LIV Golf is always team-centric, and this weekend's event at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, Australia — which teed off late Thursday night ET — is the breakaway tour's first to feature teammates playing together.

Here's how they compare…

Field and format:

  • Zurich Classic: 80 pairs of golfers play four-ball in the first and third rounds (teammates play their own ball, best score on each hole gets carded) and foursomes in the second and final rounds (teammates alternate shots on the same ball). Top 33 teams (and ties) make the cut.
  • LIV Adelaide: 12 teams of four compete in standard stroke play, with golfers' scores counting for both individual and team prizes. For the first time ever, teammates are grouped together in Round 1. As with all LIV events, there are just three rounds and no cuts.

Purse and payouts:

  • Zurich Classic: Each member of the winning team earns $1.24 million of the $8.6 million purse. The final payout goes to 33rd place, with teammates earning just $18,000 each.
  • LIV Adelaide: The individual purse is $20 million, with the winner earning $4 million and even last place taking home $120,000. The top three teams split an additional $5 million.

The intrigue: LIV always competes in teams, but this is PGA Tour golfers' one chance (besides the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup) to play with instead of against someone. Some notable pairs:

  • Defending champs: Patrick Cantlay (world No. 4) and Xander Schauffele (No. 5) will try to go back-to-back after setting the tournament record last year (29-under par).
  • Golden Bears: On paper, the team with the best shot to unseat the champs is Max Homa (No. 7) and Collin Morikawa (No. 13), both of whom played at Cal-Berkeley.
  • Brothers: Matt Fitzpatrick (No. 8) — fresh off his playoff win over Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage — is playing with his younger brother Alex (No. 705), who's making just his second PGA Tour start.
  • Wily veterans: David Duval, 51, and John Daly, 56 — who've combined for 18 PGA Tour wins, including three major championships — are the most decorated team.

Leaderboard: Here's where things stand after Round 1:

  • Zurich Classic: Two teams (Beau Hossler/Wyndham Clark and Sean O'Hair/Brandon Matthews) are tied for the lead at 11-under.
  • LIV Adelaide: Talor Gooch (-10) leads the individuals and Cleeks GC (-16) leads the teams.
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