Yang among final N.O. commitments
The deadline to commit for the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans, which will be played April 24-27 at TPC Louisiana, brought at least one big surprise to officials of the Fore!Kids Foundation.
When the final commitments arrived at the 4 p.m. deadline Friday, Fore!Kids CEO Steve Worthy found a interesting name at the very end of the alphabetical list for the $6.8 million event: Y.E. Yang.
Yang came from behind to defeat Tiger Woods in the 2009 PGA Championship. He entered the final round of the tournament two shots behind Woods but won by three strokes at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.
The 42-year-old Yang, a native of South Korea, became the first man from Asia to win a major title. Earlier that year, he won for the first time on the PGA Tour at the Honda Classic.
Yang now splits his time between the PGA and European tours. His best finish in a major since his stunning win over Woods was a tie for third at the 2011 U.S. Open.
With the addition of Yang, the Zurich Classic now has 16 former major winners, although two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, who won in New Orleans in 2011, did not submit his name.
Also, 2012 Zurich Classic champion Jason Dufner, who won the 2013 PGA Championship, will not be in the field because he’ll be playing in China.
Besides Yang, other major winners in the field are reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley, Ernie Els, Lucas Glover, Padraig Harrington, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Geoff Ogilvy, David Toms, Mike Weir, Trevor Immelman, Rich Beem, Ben Curtis, David Duval and Mark Calcavecchia.
Former University High golfer Patrick Reed, who has won three times on tour since last August, will join Toms and fellow LSU alums John Peterson and Andrew Loupe as players with local ties.
Other notables on the commitment list are defending champion Billy Horschel and runner-up D.A. Points, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney, Freddie Jacobson, Ryan Palmer, Carl Pettersson, Rory Sabbatini, John Senden and Boo Weekley.
The list is subject to change because players who finish in the top 10 and ties Sunday at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island, S.C., can get into the Zurich field if they choose.
The 156-man field will be completed with two sponsors’ exemptions and the top four players from an open qualifying tournament to be held Monday at LaTour Golf Club in Mathews.