Staff reports

Justin Rose, the eighth-ranked golfer in the world, becomes the third player ranked in the world top 10 to commit to the 2012 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, announced Steve Worthy, CEO of the Fore!Kids Foundation, producer of the tournament.

Earlier in March, Rose edged out defending Zurich Classic champion Bubba Watson by one stroke in a thrilling finish to the World Gold Championship—Cadillac at Doral.

Born in South Africa and raised in England, Rose joins Luke Donald (1) and Steve Stricker (5) in the tournament. He has played here every year since 2009.

“Justin has proven to be a big fan of our tournament, and we are a big fan of his,” said Worthy. “He is both a great player and a great person and we are delighted to have him in our field,” he added.

Rose has won more than $18 million on the PGA TOUR and has taken home four victories. He currently ranks sixth in the FedEx Cup standings. In 2011, he had five top-10 finishes.

Since 2009, Rose and his wife, Kate, have donated their time and fund-raising efforts to the charity Blessings in a Backpack. The program ensures that underprivileged schoolchildren across America receive proper nourishment on the weekends by providing them with backpacks packed with non-perishable, kid-friendly food.

Together they have visited schools, stuffed and distributed backpacks, and held a golf day that raised $180,000. They have also taken some of the children on trips away from school, once to the beach and once to the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Rose also launched his own “Birdies for Blessings Initiative.” For every birdie he posts at all golf events worldwide during a season, he donates $80. Zurich Financial and Farmers Insurance both support Blessings in a Backpack, with Zurich feeding 800 children in New Orleans and Farmers feeding 500 in San Diego. Last year, Zurich matched Rose’s Birdies for Blessings total at the end of the year.