If you’re associated with the Zurich Classic, you might not want to read on. That’s because in addition to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic cancelling this year’s event, it also kept the most star-studded tandem in the tournament’s history from competing.
Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson will team up against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolf in the TaylorMade Driving Relief event May 17, but the two had apparently agreed to join forces first for the Zurich Classic. It just never happened.
The pair of World No.1s who have a combined 38 PGA Tour titles and five Major championships between them shared this during an interview with NBC/Golf Channel’s Mike Tirico on Tuesday. Tirico, by the way, will provide play-by-play for the TaylorMade event from his Michigan home.
“I’m happy Rory’s my teammate for sure,” Johnson told Tirico. “We even kind of talked about playing the New Orleans tournament. So I’ve played enough with him, I think we’d be a good team.”
McIlroy sounded more confident the partnership would have happened.
“It was funny, DJ rang me up the week after the Players Championship when he was out on his boat and he said, ‘Hey, if the New Orleans tournament happens, would you want to be partners?'” McIlroy added. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, sure. I’m not sure if it is going to happen, but if it does, yeah, that would be fun.’ So we didn’t get a chance to do it there, but we’re getting a chance to do it at Seminole in a couple weeks time.”
Anyway, here’s the clip:
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 5, 2020
The Zurich Classic switched to a two-man team format ahead of the 2017 tournament. But while there have been some marquee pairings – most notably, Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson in 2017-2018 and Jason Day/Rickie Fowler in 2017 – there’s never been a tandem with quite the qualifications of Rory and DJ.
But hey, there’s always the potential for them playing next year at TPC Louisiana. Well, provided they play well together in a couple of weeks.