AVONDALE, La. – The Zurich Classic is a one-week oasis from the desert of 72-hole stroke-play tournaments. Sure, there may be the WGC-Match Play and the opposite-field Barracuda Championship employs the stableford scoring format, however on this “Super Season” of 50 events, these novelty acts are few and much between.
In post-Masters hangover season and with the PGA Championship simply weeks away, the Zurich Classic’s determination to undertake a two-man group format (two rounds of four-ball, two rounds of foursomes) in 2017 looks like a grasp stroke.
The PGA Tour must suppose outdoors the field extra typically, even whether it is laborious to mess with a profitable system. The powers-that-be could need to take heed to certainly one of its personal, Graeme McDowell, who after recounting his ace on Friday, pitched the idea of a 72-hole foursomes event.
“I kind of believe it’s the purest form of the game,” McDowell stated. “There’s nothing more difficult than having to hit one and then hand it over to your partner and then having him hand it back to you.”
So, that prompted a query: would different Tour professionals join McDowell’s occasion? It relies upon who you ask.
Zurich Classic winners Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith answered with a resounding no.
“That would be too stressful,” Smith stated.
“I would be too worn out by Sunday night, I think,” Leishman added.
Smith considered it some extra and added: “Definitely not 72 holes of alternate shot. I think Leish and I wouldn’t be friends at the end of that.”
Playoff loser Louis Oosthuizen agreed with the champion’s evaluation.
“I think you’ll be taking two weeks off after it because you’ll be so stressed,” Ooshuizen stated.
But McDowell has his supporters of his idea, too.
“That would be awesome,” stated Viktor Hovland. “We don’t get to do it a whole lot, and it’s very stressful at times, but no, I think it gives you a lot of kind of pleasure after the day – like (Friday) after being 2-over par and then signing the scorecard for 3-under, that was a really good score, especially in those conditions and in that format. It’s just when you do well, it gives you that much more pleasure, I think.”
Count Bubba Watson, who stated he enjoys the psychological grind of alternate shot and famous it will result in quicker play, and his associate, Scottie Scheffler, as on board.
“I would love it. That would be awesome,” Watson stated. “I’d be the first one to sign up.”
“Alternate-shot is the kind of days where you can separate yourself because you’re making birdies and bogeys. Best ball it’s really just birdies,” Scheffler stated. “The ability to separate yourself, especially on a golf course like this where there’s a lot of trouble, I think alternate shot would be a lot of fun.”
Fun is nice. More enjoyable, please. And extra considering outdoors the field, too.