NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Zurich Classic gets underway Thursday, just two weeks after the Masters drew America's attention to golf for the summer tour. However, the momentum of interest is not carried over in the top ranks of golfers.
Dustin Johnson is 7th on the PGA Tour and other headliners like Rickie Fowler and 2013 champion Billy Horschel comprise an interesting upper echelon of participants, but Johnson and Jason Day are the only golfers currently in the PGA Tour's top ten money leaders.
Local PGA and Champions Tour pro Kelly Gibson explains the difficulties.
"I think, unfortunately, the PGA Tour has set up a schedule that gives tournaments like New Orleans trouble to recruit the players so I think it's a challenge for the PGA Tour on making sure that the venues, the host committees like the Fore!Kids Foundation and then the sponsors like Zurich are happy," Gibson said. "I know there are a lot of other tournaments out there on the schedule that Tiger hasn't played at, Phil skips traditionally, that Bubba Watson might not play because it doesn't suit their style of play or they're scheduling around the tournament so it's difficult, it's a difficult challenge."
The pros practice at TPC Louisiana Tuesday, the Pro-Amateur tournament is Wednesday and the Zurich Classic's first round begins Thursday.