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Off the Tee: Is the Team Event Here to Stay on the PGA Tour?

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Golf is a sport steeped in tradition, a world where the word ‘new’ doesn’t get thrown around very often.

And so last weekend (April 27-30), when golf rolled out something they hadn’t done in nearly 40 years, people took notice,

For the first time since the early 80’s, the PGA Tour featured a team event, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. It was won by Australia’s Cameron Smith and Sweden’s Jonas Blixt, who both live in Florida, in a Monday (May 1) four-hole, best ball playoff, with Americans Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown.

In this edition of ‘Off The Tee’, I talk with Joel Harrington, from 4 Deep Golf blog, about the team event and if he thinks the concept is a ‘one and done’ or will be back on the tour again in the years to come.

We also discuss:

  • The assessment of the PGA Tour’s first slow play penalty in a two-man event in more than 20 years. The Zurich Classic team of Brian Campbell and Miguel Angel Carballo was penalized one shot for not playing shots within the 40-secomnd time limit.
  • Speaking of slow play, there were no penalties assessed, but Cristie Kerr had to apologize after moving at a snail’s pace during a playoff loss to Haru Nomura at the LPGA Texas Shootout.

  • The USGA and R&A have implemented a rule change to limit the use of video replay. It’s being called the ‘Lexi Thompson Rule’. Thompson was slapped with a four-shot penalty last month (April 2) during the LPGA’s ANA Inspiration event after a television viewer notified officials that Thompson had improperly marked a putt the day before. That penalty meant Thompson lost the lead, and later the tournament, in a playoff.
  • The USGA and R&A are also proposing rules changes to outlaw so-called ‘green reading materials’ – specifically books, which provide detailed maps to help pros navigate tricky greens.

Here’s my conversation with Joel:

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