The Zurich Classic of New Orleans landed a couple of big commitments in the last few days, the biggest being reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed.
Reed, a former Baton Rouge resident and University High star, will partner with Patrick Cantlay for the third year in a row in the unique two-man team event that will be played April 25-28 at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.
Fore!Kids Foundation CEO Steve Worthy, whose group stages the PGA Tour event each spring, also announced Tuesday that longtime international star Ian Poulter will play in this year's event.
This year's tournament carries a Zurich Classic-record $7.3 million purse with $1.05 million going to each player on the winning team.
Reed and Cantlay tied for seventh in last year’s Zurich Classic, two weeks after Reed, who now lives in Houston, claimed his first major title at the Masters.
That tandem also was 14th in 2017, the first time the team format was played after not being used on the PGA Tour for more than three decades.
The captains for the United States and European teams that will battle for the Ryder Cup in 2020 have formed teams to play in the Zurich Class…
Reed captured the 2018 Masters and slipped on the iconic green jacket, symbolic of victory at Augusta National Golf Club, when he prevailed by one stroke over Rickie Fowler.
Reed became the fourth consecutive first-time major champion at the Masters, following Sergio Garcia (2017), Danny Willett (2016) and Jordan Spieth (2015).
Two months after winning at Augusta, Reed, who is currently ranked 18th in the world, finished fourth in the U.S. Open.
A six-time winner on the PGA Tour and a proven player in international play and team events, the 28-year-old Reed has a 7-3-2 career record for the U.S. in three Ryder Cup appearances (2014, 2016, 2018).
In eight starts this season, Reed has six top-25 finishes.
Cantlay, who ranks 21st in the world, scored his first victory on the PGA Tour at the 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson is switching back to his old playing partner for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
This season, he was second in the Shriners Hospital for Children Open and has three other top-10 finishes.
Poulter, who has a lifetime 14-6-2 Ryder Cup record for the European squad, is teaming at the Zurich Classic this this year with Sam Horsfield, who's playing just his second year on the European Tour.
In six Ryder Cup competitions, Poulter, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, is 5-0-1 in singles and helped the Europeans win the Cup with a 2-2 record as a captain’s pick.
In 2012, he went 4-0 in leading the European team to its second consecutive victory. He served as vice-captain of the 2016 European team.
Poulter is currently ranked 33rd in the world.
Also, South Africa's Branden Grace will team up with Justin Harding, who's third in the European Tour standings and has rocketed from 716th in the world rankings to 48th since Jan. 2018.
Harding didn't crack the top 100 until last September. But he's currently ranked 48th, which got him into the Masters next week.