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USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

When you think of a golf championship, the last thing that comes to mind is a musically pumped-out course. Nonetheless, this has been LIV Golf’s traditional entry over the years. A special crew of 12 people set up 160 speakers at every event, blasting music as the players enter from the first hole to the 18th. “Our players listen to music on the range; that kind of catapulted our music on the course, tenfold,” said AJ Dolan, the director of event production.

However, long before the inception of the breakaway league, the music culture at the Zurich Classic was on the rage. But this time, it was not just the music that stole the show. Rory McIlroy killed it with his exceptional knack for singing as he celebrated his win with Shane Lowry in anything but regular fashion. The concert garnered some disapproval along the way, but many enjoyed the show by the PGA Tour pros, and expressed their support, which also included eight-time PGA Tour winner Billy Horschel.

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry groove to ‘Small-Town Girl’

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Rory McIlroy’s debut on the course of the TPC Louisiana did indeed turn out to be a banger, as the 34-year-old, along with Shane Lowry, beat Chad Ramey and Martin Trainer in the playoff, grabbing the win with a 25-under 263. For the victory celebration, they walked over to the 19th green stage, garnered with Mardi Gras beads around their necks and cans of beers in one hand, while another gripped a mic. As they got on the stage, Rory McIlroy started by singing Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’. Needless to say, the spectators went crazy listening to him sing, and, well, Lowry stood on the stage, sipping beer and enjoying the celebration.

The official X (formerly Twitter) handle of the PGA Tour shared snippets from the video, and it was later shared by Greg Allen, one of the outstanding collegiate golf coaches in the NCAA, who took up the audience’s concern about the tradition being a mimic of what LIV Golf follows. “Hearing reaction that this is a bit LIV-ish. So what. LIV has some innovative ideas. Some good, some holding them back. Some they’ve taken too far.” However, addressing what happened on Sunday at the PC Louisiana, he believes it was more of going-with-the-flow entertainment, as he added, “This isn’t a post-tournament formula. It just happened…”

Being the only player to claim individual and team titles at the Zurich Classic, Billy Horschel knows better than the rest! He had to sing inside the tent after his glorious victories, and clearing notions that this was LIV Golf’s practice, he wrote, “This has been a staple @Zurich_Classic for many years now. The winners must visit the tent and sing a song. I’ve done it twice. In 2013 and 2018, But my singing was nowhere close to as good as Rory’s.”

The template that is now widely associated with LIV golf has been around for quite some time. The Irish Open has invited many musicians over the past few years. For instance, in 2022, the band Hermitage Green kicked off the Irish Open, and last year, YEOODJ, Scouting for Girls, and The Stunning became a part of the K-Club tournament festivities.

Although the celebratory round at the Zurich Classic was an absolute hit this year, as posted by Paul Hodowanic, a staff writer at PGATour.com, another tradition did not take place this year. Although the players, like Kevin Yu, were pretty much jammed up about teeing off to their favorite song at the TPC Lousiana, it looks like the patterns have changed!

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Outcasting New Orleans’ age-old tradition

Having switched to a team format in 2017, the Zurich Classic always coincided with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. As a result of this, the organizers included music not just at the end but throughout the event in 2018. Teams that made the cut got the chance to play their favorite song while teeing up for the first round.

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Be it Ben Crane and his partner Alex Cejka banging their heads to Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again’, six years ago, or Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele sharing the beats of ‘House of the Rising Sun’, this fun part has been cherished by the fans over the years, and this year was no different. The golf fans have grooved through the music at the Crescent City event! However, this was something that did not take place at the TPC Louisiana this year, and well, that was like taking out a significant part of the heart of the Zurich Classic. Nonetheless, the event was a great hit anyway!

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