The post-Tiger Woods era of golf is struggling to draw new fans to the sport.There’s no denying that, but the team format at the Zurich Classic provides some fresh excitement.
The only reason I call this year’s sudden-death playoff ending “near-perfect” is because it had to be pushed to Monday morning. The crowd wasn’t as big as it could have been, leaving us without the usual fanfare on the 18th hole. But that said, it was a lot of fun down the stretch.
Teammates Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith had to weather the storm, both literally and figuratively, on Sunday. Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner gave them everything they could handle with an exhilarating finish, capped off by a 94-foot chip-in from Kisner to force the playoff.
Perfect would have been finishing the tournament on Sunday, but weather and a lack of daylight wouldn’t allow it.
Sure, you could say there were more missed putts than great putts in Monday morning’s finale, but Cameron Smith’s approach within three feet to set up the winning birdie made up for all of that.
Asked after the tournament about how they liked the team format, Smith said there wasn’t a player who would say they had a bad time. He even admitted he’d likely play more team format tournaments and more than likely be back at the Zurich Classic next year to defend the title.
It would definitely be over-saturating the market to add too many more team format tournaments. But for now, it’s getting a lot of positive reviews and can only help bring more eyes and fans to the game.
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