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The Irish are headed to New Orleans.

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry will play together at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the two-man team event contested at TPC Louisiana, April 20-23. It will mark McIlroy’s tournament debut, while Lowry will make his fifth appearance and first since 2022.

This will be the Irishmen’s first team event together on the PGA TOUR. They were teammates on the last two European Ryder Cup teams. McIlroy and Lowry lost their only match as a duo, a 4-and-3 loss to Tony Finau and Harris English in Four-ball at the 2021 Ryder Cup.

The Zurich Classic’s first and third rounds utilize a Four-ball (best ball) format, while the second and fourth rounds are played as Foursomes (alternate shot).

The friendship between McIlroy, 34, and Lowry, 36, stretches the entirety of their professional careers. The two represented Ireland at the 2007 European Amateur Team Championships. McIlroy turned professional later that year with Lowry two years behind him. The duo has grown particularly close in recent years. Both live in South Florida. Their wives and kids are friends.

“We’re probably closer than we’ve ever been now. We spend a lot of time together, play a lot of golf together, practice together. Our wives are very close. Our kids are similar ages. Play dates and stuff like that is weekly,” Lowry told “Off The Ball” podcast. “He’s a great person to have around me as well. To see what he does with his time and his game and how he improves day-to-day… I’m very fortunate to have, in my eyes, one of the greatest players to play the game so close.”

McIlroy echoed a similar sentiment in an interview with the Irish Independent last fall.

“I feel over the last couple of years that Shane’s been one of my biggest advocates. He’s a great person to be around, and a really good influence on me,” he said. “There’s parts of Shane that I really love; I see how he lives his life; I see how he is with his girls, and the relationships he has with the people from home that are still close to him.

McIlroy added, “He enjoys his life and everything he’s worked for, and I think spending time with him makes me a better version of myself.”

That will be the goal at the Zurich Classic, too.

Lowry has amassed two top-five finishes in six TOUR starts this season. He finished T4 at the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches and followed it with a solo third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Lowry is 25th in the FedExCup and 34th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Lowry’s best finish at the Zurich Classic was 13th in 2022.

McIlroy has four top-25 finishes this season, highlighted by a T19 at THE PLAYERS Championship. It’s a solid but unremarkable start for a player who expects those top-25s to be top-fives every week. Maybe playing alongside a close friend will spark him. McIlroy is 58th in the FedExCup and maintains his position at No. 2 in the OWGR.

As for their competition – more teams will be announced in the coming weeks. Among the teams already revealed are defending champions Nick Hardy and Davis Riley. Sahith Theegala and Will Zalatoris announced their partnership earlier this week.