The Zurich Classic of New Orleans filled out its 156-man field Monday by awarding the final spots in the $6.8 million event to the top four finishers in a qualifier at LaTour Golf Club in Mathews.
Brooks Koepka and David Bradshaw each shot 8-under 64 to take the top two spots, while Dustin Morris had a 65 and Garrett Osborn a 66. Osborn survived a four-man playoff for the fourth and final available spot for the tournament, which begins Thursday at TPC Louisiana.
Koepka is an interesting addition to the field, having played in the 2012 U.S. Open as well as the 2013 British Open and PGA Championship. He’s played mostly on the European and Challenge tours since graduating from Florida State in 2012 and is 75th in the latest world golf rankings.
A Florida native, Koepka has played in eight tournaments this season — including seven on sponsor’s exemptions, the maximum allowed in one year — and has won $387,247.
Looper comes back
Fore!Kids Foundation CEO Steve Worthy, whose group puts on the PGA Tour event each spring, also added two players to the field via sponsor’s exemption after the conclusion of the RBC Heritage Classic on Sunday.
Worthy extended invites to former UNO and LSU golfer Ken Looper, a Mandeville native, and 2005 Zurich Classic champion Tim Petrovic.
Looper got in last year’s field through the Monday qualifier and played well in his first PGA Tour event.
He made the cut and was only four shots out of the lead when the final round started Sunday morning. He carded rounds of 73, 66, 67 and 71 for an 11-under 277 total and pocketed $58,740.
With many players in the tournament getting in relaxing practice rounds Tuesday, some of the attention at TPC Louisiana will turn to some of the big names in the second annual Capital One Celebrity Shootout.
Future Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey, who was recently signed by the Saints, will be one of six players in the shootout to be played at holes 1, 2, 8 and 9 starting at 3 p.m.
Joining Bailey in the field made up of three two-man teams will be three of his new teammates — Zach Strief, Mark Ingram and Shayne Graham — as well as former LSU quarterback Tommy Hodson and Grammy Award winner Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish. Hodson and former Tigers quarterback Jarrett Lee won last year’s event.
Looper and former LSU All-Americans John Peterson and Andrew Loupe will be among the 15 pros taking part in the sixth annual L’Auberge of Baton Rouge Pro-Am to be played Wednesday at 8 a.m. at University Club.
The Baton Rouge Pro-Am, which is held in conjunction with the Zurich Classic Pro-Am at the tournament site in Avondale, pairs a touring pro with four amateurs in an 18-hole scramble format. Admission is free.
Among the other touring pros scheduled to play are Chris DiMarco, David Duval, Robert Gamez and Petrovic.
Last year’s event raised more than $100,000 that was given to local children’s charities.
Four players who were originally on the list that tournament officials received from the PGA Tour on Friday afternoon withdrew Monday.
Worthy said Jason Kokrak, Steven Bowditch, Kris Blanks and Chesson Hadley officially dropped out of the tournament and will be replaced from a list of alternates.
Single-day grounds tickets are $25 each and weekly passes are $75 ($25 for senior citizens). Military personnel and children under 17 get in free when accompanied by a paying adult.
For more information, call the tournament office at (504) 342-3000 or visit the website at www.zurichgolfclassic.com.