Zurich Classic Golf

Jon Rahm and fiancee Kelley Cahill embrace after he and teammate Ryan Palmer won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana in Avondale on Sunday, April 28, 2019.

The win by Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Sunday makes Rahm a prime challenger for the season-long FedEx Cup championship and lifts Palmer into strong contention for a spot in the season-ending Tour Championship.

Because it is a team event, none of the players in the Zurich get world ranking points. However, Palmer and Rahm split 800 FedEx Cup points to go toward the season-long FedEx competition.

Rahm jumped up 23 spots to sixth on the FedEx Cup points list, while Palmer shot up 31 spots to No. 19. The top 30 players in the FedEx standings make it to the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

The top player in regular-season points will earn a $2 million bonus through the Wyndham Rewards top 10 program before the three-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs begin in August.

I do, I do

Rahm and Palmer each pocket $1,051,200 for their victory, with some of Rahm’s winnings likely going toward the two-continent wedding plans for him and fiancée Kelley Cahill.

The two are getting married in February. Cahill said they will do a small ceremony in Spain and another larger one in San Diego.

Rahm and Cahill met when they were student-athletes at Arizona State. Rahm was a four-time All-American on the golf team, while Cahill, a native of Scottsdale, Arizona, who was also once a standout tennis player, threw the javelin on the track and field team.

International flavor

When Spain’s Rahm teamed up with Palmer to run away with the Zurich Classic title Sunday, Rahm became the ninth international player to win here in the past 20 tournaments.

The others include: Paraguay’s Carlos Franco (2000), South Korea’s K.J. Choi (2002) and Seung-Yul Noh (2014), Fiji’s Vijay Singh (2004), Argentina’s Andres Romero (2008), England’s Justin Rose (2015) and Australia’s Cameron Smith and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt, who won the Zurich Classic’s first two-man team event in 2017.

Hello, my name is …

Jim Knous, the last player to get into the 80-team field on Wednesday when Aaron Baddeley withdrew because of a bad back, made his opportunity count this week in just the 16th PGA Tour start of his career.

The 29-year-old Knous had never met playing partner Adam Hadwin, who was supposed to team with Baddeley, until they got together for a practice session on the putting green Wednesday.

But the two became fast friends and shot 18 under 270 for the tournament. They finished in a five-way tie for 13th, which earned each of them $51,137.

High flying adored

Kyoung-Hoon Lee’s golf game is admittedly better than his English, but the Korean still could express his pleasure at playing with partner Matt Every after they shot a 68 Sunday to wind up in a tie for third at 21 under 267.

“Unbelievable,” Lee said. “I feel like flying high.

“Honestly, very exciting. Hopefully I want to (find the right) choice for English words, but I don’t know. Just like fly high.”

Every was just as high on Lee as a partner.

“K.H. is a freaking stud,” Every said.

Every was supposed to have another partner this week, but when that player dropped out with an injury a former caddy for both players helped form their new partnership.

“It worked out great,” Every said. “He’s a stud, no doubt about it.”

Lagniappe

A brand new Waterford Crystal trophy topped by a fleur-de-lis was presented to Rahm and Palmer on Sunday evening. The trophy will remain with the Fore!Kids Foundation, but each player received a belt with a huge silver buckle signifying their victory. … A $6 million project to replace the grass on TPC Louisiana’s fairways, tees and greens is scheduled to begin Tuesday. The course is expected to reopen Nov. 1. … The PGA Tour moves on to Charlotte, North Carolina, this week for the Wells Fargo Championship.


Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​