Tournament: Zurich Classic of New Orleans, April 26-29, 2018
Course: TPC Louisiana, 7,425 yards, par 72 (about 15 minutes outside of New Orleans)
Defending Champion: Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith. How 2 champions? Keep reading my friend, this is where it gets interesting.
Fun Fact: UGA’s own Chip Beck, he of 4 PGA Tour wins (and TWENTY runner-up finishes) owns the individual tournament scoring record. Though it was at another course entirely, and recorded in 1988, and the tournament was called the good ol’ Freeport-McMoRan. I just discovered Beck was from Fayette-nam, NC.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2:30-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
Former 'Dawgs in the Field ( Five ): Chris Kirk, Harris English, Keith Mitchell, Hudson Swafford, Kevin Kisner.
So why is this week different than any other week on the professional golf calendar? Is it a major? Nope, next one is Father’s Day at Shinnecock. Is it a World Golf Championship event? No, but there are several left on the schedule. Is it the Olympics? That is still 2 years away. This is a team event. But not Ryder Cup or President’s Cup, just a normal Tour stop where tandems compete in a team format.
Oh, and there will be walk-up music on the first tee for each group.
Yes, you read that right. Walk-up music. For professional golfers. This can only be fun.
A normally stoic, stolid, can’t-get-excited-take-it-one-shot-at-a-time mentality with “Quiet Please” signs environment throws caution and good taste to the wind as teams get walk-up music on Saturday and Sunday to begin their rounds. Unheard of on the PGA Tour, this experiment has been met with mirth and glee.
Because the buttoned-up button-down Vineyard Vines by Brooks "Hugo Boss” Brothers 30-something privileged white man will walk to a golf tee with trap music blaring across the grandstands. And that I have to see.
On the actual tournament front, there was some drama last year in the first iteration of the team format:
While it was a valiant come-from-behind effort, it failed to secure the victory in the playoff. No matter, Kisner and fellow CSRA native (born Augusta, school-USC Aiken) will team up and be a favorite in this heavy-laden field. Because they’re buds on and off the course, have great chemistry, and are just good ol’ boys who never meant no harm.
Other former Bulldogs competing this week:
Chris Kirk and JT Poston. I don’t know the connection, as Poston is a Catamount from Western Carolina, and 8 years younger. But I do know their walk-up music will be “Crazy Train” by Ozzy & Randy Rhodes.
Keith Mitchell is playing with Stephen Jaeger. Their choice? “Pizza Guy” by Touch Sensitive.
Aforementioned Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown are teeing off to “Slippery” by Migos. Of course they are.
Hudson Swafford and Harris English are former teammates at Georgia, and I like that they decided to pair up. Rumour is their walk-up music is “Thong Song”.
There are at least 3 groups who requested Metallica, and not all “Enter Sandman”. Others chose eclectic renditions from artists such as Tina Turner (please help us), Biggie Smalls, Drake, Van Halen, Spandau Ballet, Tupac, Toby Keith, Men at Work, and Kendrick Lamar. One bi-racial team chose Stevie Wonder & Paul McCartney. These guys are having some fun with it, and I think it’s awesome.
So we have team golf in April, and walk-up music to boot. G-Day is over and done, the Gym Dogs are done (shout-out to Sydney Snead who received All-American honors in Vault, Beam, and All-Around), the Men’s Golf team is playing in the SEC Conference tourney, Men’s Tennis faces aTm and Arky, Softball plays ‘Bama, and the Diamond Dawgs host Tennessee. I’ll give some updates on Men’s Golf, but please leave any questions in the comments below.
And while we’ve done this in the past, one must always ask the question: What would your walk-up music choice be? Leave it in the comment section, and as always...