Rory McIlroy reveals big PGA Tour decision was made over 'drunken lunch'

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry will play together at the Zurich Classic in April after the pair agreed to team up over a drunken lunch after the Ryder Cup. 

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are set to be one of the headline teams at the Zurich Classic next month, with McIlroy revealing the team was formed during a boozy lunch. 

It will be the first time McIlroy has played in the team format PGA Tour event, and who better to partner with than a Ryder Cup teammate. 

The Zurich Classic will take place over 25-28 April, only weeks after McIlroy will have attempted to complete the career grand slam with a win at The Masters. 

McIlroy spoke to about his decision to play in the event and revealed he initiated the conversation with Lowry over a 'drunken lunch' when the two were celebrating their success at the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Lowry has previously played in the event four times and teamed up with Padraig Harrington in 2018 and 2019 and LIV Golfer Ian Poulter in 2022.

McIlroy and Lowry have only played as a pair once in the Ryder Cup and were convincingly beaten by Tony Finau and Harris English in 2021 at Whistling Straits. 

Discussing how the partnership came about, McIlroy said:

“I asked him [to play]. You know it was actually, we had this really drunken lunch after the Ryder Cup last year, and I said after, ‘You wanna play the Zurich together?’ And we were like, yeah, let’s do it.”

The addition of McIlroy is a huge win for the New Orleans tournament, with the current world number two likely to provide a big boost to both TV ratings and visitors to the event. 

Nick Hardy and Davis Riley are the defending champions whilst Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay won the year prior. 

Since it switched to a team format, the Zurich Classic has witnessed the formation of some eclectic pairings. Last year, John Daly and David Duval formed a nostalgic team, and in 2022, Bill Haas and his 68-year-old father, Jay Haas, also entered. They impressively finished the week tied for 36th. 

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