Joined by four past winners, including K.J. Choi
NEW ORLEANS — LSU alum David Toms, former Tulane golfer Michael Thompson and Baton Rouge product Patrick Reed highlight the early commitments to the 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans April 22-28, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.
A native of Monroe, La., Toms previously won the New Orleans tournament in 2001, the same year he went on to win the PGA Championship. Thompson won his first PGA TOUR event at the Honda Classic last Sunday, and Reed’s best finish this year is a tie for seventh at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
“Our Louisiana trio plus our former champions give us a strong start on the 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans field,” said Worthy. “We anticipate more announcements very soon, as many of the marquee names on the PGA TOUR make up their post-Masters schedules while they play Florida this month,” he added.
“We are confident our field in 2013 will match the depth and quality of last year’s, which was the best in anyone’s memory,” said Worthy.
Thompson currently ranks 11th in money leaders on the PGA TOUR after his win at the Honda Classic this week, and Reed currently ranks 65th.
Toms, who has won more than $38 million on the TOUR—seventh in career earnings—was a First-team All-American and SEC Player of the Year at LSU. He owns a golf course design business and is the founder of the David Toms Foundation, which raised more than $1.5 million for Hurricane Katrina relief.
Thompson attended Tulane for two seasons until the university disbanded its golf team following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He transferred to the University Alabama, where he was the 2008 SEC Player of the Year. Thompson shot 1-under-par 69 to become one of only five players to break par during the final round in earning his first PGA TOUR win at the Honda Classic.
Reed won two high school state championships at University Lab School in Baton Rouge. He was twice a First-team All-American and won back-to-back NCAA Championships with Augusta State University in 2010 and 2011. After playing the 2012 Valero Texas Open on an exemption granted to him during the Monday qualifier, he and his now-wife, who was also his caddy, drove all night to New Orleans, where he Monday-qualified for the Zurich Classic and finished tied for 24th.
In addition to Toms, past Zurich Classic champion K.J. Choi has committed to play in this year’s tournament. Choi’s victory at the Zurich Classic in 2002 was his first PGA TOUR victory and made him the first South Korean winner in TOUR history. He was also the first Korean to earn a PGA TOUR card. His best finish this year is a tie for 9th at the Farmers Insurance Open. He won The Players Championship in 2011.
Other past Zurich Classic champions also committed include Jason Bohn (2010), Jerry Kelly (2009) and Tim Petrovic (2005).
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 Golf Ball Gala, an AJGA event, a kids' summer junior tour, and several charitable golf tournaments. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, Fore!Kids has helped to raise more than $23 million to date for children’s charities in metro New Orleans and Baton Rouge. More information at www.zurichgolfclassic.com.
About the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Televised in more than 116 countries, 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 $30 million within the local economy and garners $17 million in positive national and international media exposure for both the city and state throughout the year beyond the four days of competition.
Purse for 2013 totals $6.6 million. The winner’s share is $1,188,000.
Single-day grounds tickets are only $25 each and weekly passes are $75, available by calling the Tournament Office at (504) 342-3000 or online at www.zurichgolfclassic.com.