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PGA Tour doubles tournament held at the end of April

Rory McIlroy will play the Zurich for the first time and will do so with Lowry as a partner

Rory McIlroy y Shane Lowry en los fourballs del viernes en Whistling Straits. © Golffile | Scott Halleran
Rory McIlroy y Shane Lowry en los fourballs de Whistling Straits. © Golffile | Scott Halleran

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry will play together at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, the pairs tournament that will take place at the TPC Louisiana from April 20 to 23. It will be McIlroy’s debut in the tournament, while Lowry will make his fifth appearance and the first since 2022.

The Zurich will be the first team tournament where the two Irishmen coincide. They were teammates in the last two Ryders, although they only played once as a pair. McIlroy and Lowry lost 4 and 3 to Tony Finau and Harris English in one of the 2021 fourballs.

The first and third rounds of the Zurich Classic are played in fourball format, while the second and fourth are foursomes.

The friendship between McIlroy, 34, and Lowry, 36, dates back to the beginning of their careers. Both represented Ireland in the 2007 European Amateur Team Championship. McIlroy turned professional that same year and Lowry two years later. The duo has become especially close in recent years. Both live in South Florida. Their wives and children are friends.

“We are probably closer than ever. We spend a lot of time together, play a lot of golf together, train together. Our wives are very close. Our children are of similar ages. Play dates and things like that are weekly,” Lowry told the Off The Ball podcast. “I am very fortunate to have so close, in my eyes, one of the best players this sport has ever produced.”

McIlroy echoed a similar sentiment in an interview given to the Irish Independent last autumn. “I feel that in the last two years Shane has been one of my biggest supports. He is a great person and a great influence on me,” he said. “There are parts of Shane that I really love; how he lives his life; how he is with his daughters and the relationships he has with people at home who are still close to him. He enjoys his life and everything he has worked for, and I think spending time with him makes me a better version of myself.”

Lowry has two top 5s in six outings on the PGA Tour this season. He finished fourth at the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches and then was third alone at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Lowry is 25th in the FedExCup and 34th in the World Ranking. His best result in the Zurich Classic was a 13th in 2022.

McIlroy has finished four times among the top 25 this season, highlighting a 19th at THE PLAYERS Championship. It’s a solid start, but not remarkable for a player who hopes those top-25s turn into top-5s every week. Maybe playing next to a close friend will cheer him up. McIlroy is 58th in the FedExCup and maintains his position at no. 2 in the World Ranking.

As for other pairs, more teams will be announced in the coming weeks. Some already revealed are the title defenders Nick Hardy and Davis Riley, as well as Sahith Theegala and Will Zalatoris.