The 2016 Zurich Classic of New Orleans will be played three weeks after the Masters instead of the usual two, which could help officials get more of the game’s top stars to make a stop in the Crescent City.
The Zurich Classic will be played April 28-May 1, three weeks after the Masters and two weeks before The Players Championships — another top event for the world’s best golfers which is widely referred to as the fifth major.
Fore!Kids Foundation CEO Steve Worthy said Thursday he doesn’t yet know if the change will be for one year or two, but having four tournaments between the Masters and TPC at least next year will be good for his group.
This spring, there were only three events between the Masters and The Players.
“We see it as beneficial,” Worthy said after the PGA Tour announced a 2015-16 schedule that includes 47 FedEx Cup tournaments. “There were some can’t-miss events for the players in there last year, so it’ll be nice to have a chance to go after a few guys we haven’t gotten in the past.”
Many of the world’s top golfers take at least two weeks off after the Masters, which often eliminates the Zurich Classic from their schedule.
“We view it as a plus, and we’re excited about it,” Worthy said.
After the 2016 Masters, the Tour will head to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, for the RBC Heritage and then over to San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open before coming to New Orleans.
The Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, will come between the Zurich Classic and The Players.
The change could be only for one year, however, because the PGA Tour schedule for the 2015-16 season had to undergo some big changes — mainly because of golf being added to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
The biggest change there will be the PGA Championship will move from its mid-August dates to July 28-31, just two weeks after the British Open.
Men’s golf will be played at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from Aug. 8-14, which would traditionally be the week of the PGA Championship.