Zurich North America names newest golf ambassadors

Insurer also extends its relationships with two other pros

Zurich North America names newest golf ambassadors

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

Zurich North America, the title sponsor of the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans, has announced Albane Valenzuela and Sahith Theegala as the newest members of the Zurich Golf Ambassador Program. The company has also extended its relationships with Billy Horschel, who has been a Zurich Golf Ambassador since 2013, and Gollin Morikawa, who joined the program in 2020.

“We are excited to continue our relationship with Billy and Collin and very pleased to welcome Albane and Sahith to the Zurich team,” said Alban Laloum, head of customer office, distribution and marketing at Zurich North America. “These golfers help us expand our reach in golf beyond the Zurich Classic as well as our efforts to support communities through golf.”

Horschel, Morikawa and Theegala will wear the Zurich logo on their left sleeves, while Valenzuela will wear the logo on the front of her hat, the company said.

Valenzuela earned her full-time LPGA card in 2020 and had two top-10 finishes in the 2022 season. Born in New York and raised in Mexico City and Geneva, Switzerland, Valenzuela entered the professional golf world at the age of 17. In 2016, she competed in three major championships and made the cut at the US Women’s Open. She represented Team Switzerland in the 2016 and 2022 Olympics as one of its youngest members. While playing collegiate golf at Stanford University, she co-founded the “Alexis for Autism” charity and raised more than $300,000 for autism spectrum disorder research.

“I am extremely honored to be partnering with Zurich and to be joining such an incredible roster of golf ambassadors,” Valenzuela said. “As a Swiss player with global ties, I am proud to represent a company whose identity and values align with what I represent on and off the course.”

Theegala became a professional golfer in 2020, playing on both the PGA and Korn Ferry tours. His performance earned him a PGA Tour membership for the 2020-2021 season. In 2021, Theegala earned five top-10 finishes. So far in the 2022.2023 season, he has won the QBE Shootout in December and placed second at the RSM Classic, fifth at the ZOZO Championship and sixth at the Fortinet Championship.

Theegala played collegiate golf at Pepperdine University, where he won four individual tournament titles and was the leading college golfer in the US. He is only the fifth golfer to receive all three top golfer awards – the Fred Haskins Award, the Ben Hogan Award and the Jack Nicklaus Award – in a single season.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Zurich as a member of their golf ambassador roster,” he said. “The past year as a professional has given me a lot of confidence in my game, and now teaming up with a company like Zurich, a strong PGA Tour partner and a leader in the insurance community, it really makes me excited for what’s next. I feel very fortunate to have business leaders like the ones I’ve met at Zurich behind me on and off the course.”

Horschel is a seven-time PGA Tour winner. He won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans as an individual in 2013 and as part of a team in 2018. He was the 2014 FedEx Cup champion and has 47 career top-10 finishes.

Morikawa has posted five PGA Tour wins, including two majors: the PGA Championship and the Open Championship. He is the first player to win two different majors in his first attempt and one of only eight players since 1920 to win multiple majors before the age of 25.

Zurich has been the title sponsor of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans since 2005.

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