Brian Stuard went without a bogey at TPC Avondale to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in a playoff against Byeong-Hun An and Jamie Lovemark.
In a Zurich Classic of New Orleans reduced to 54-holes because of weather delays, Brian Stuard posted a three-round total of 15-under-par that tied for the lead with Jamie Lovemark and Ben An at the close of regulation play.
Jamie Lovemark might have won the tournament in regulation play but he left a nine-foot birdie putt on the 18th green short of the hole.
It looked as though Lovemark had played himself out of the mix when he hooked his drive on the first playoff hole, but he recovered well and saved a par. It was An who was eliminated first as he stumbled to a six. On the second extra time down the 18th, Lovemark was unable to make par and Stuard was handed a straightforward opportunity to clinch his first PGA Tour title.
“I kind of hung in there all week. I just didn’t get too ahead of myself and just stayed real patient, and it paid off,” he said.
3 Talking points from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
1 – In the first PGA Tour event to be shortened to three rounds since the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in 2013, Brian Stuard claimed his first PGA Tour victory, he had been second twice before, in 2010 and 2014. The 33-year-old journeyman put a new Odyssey Fang putter into play for the week, and it seemed to pay off.
“I picked it up off the putting green last week in San Antonio (at the Valero Texas Open), and it just felt good in my hands,” he said. Stuard was the only player in the field to go without a bogey through the week at TPC Louisiana.
2 – Bobby Wyatt, playing in only his ninth PGA Tour event might have claimed an unlikely victory. He took the lead with an eagle and six birdies in his first 13 holes. But he three-putted the 14th and 15th holes to lose his chance of winning. He found every green in regulation during the final round.
3 – World Number 1 Jason Day had a strong finish. He improved each round and closed with a 66. He was left wishing there was more time to catch the leaders.
“I just wish it was 72 holes,” he said.
Jason Day swing sequence:
Zurich Classic of New Orleans
TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana
Apr 28 – May 2
Purse $7,000,000, par 72
1 Brian Stuard (USA) 64 68 69 201 $1,260,000
T2 Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 68 68 65 201 $616,000
T2 Jamie Lovemark (USA) 67 66 68 201 $616,000
4 Bobby Wyatt (USA) 67 71 64 202 $336,000
T5 Jason Day (Aus) 69 68 66 203 $255,500
T5 Chris Kirk (USA) 71 67 65 203 $255,500
T5 Jhonattan Vegas (Ven) 64 69 70 203 $255,500
T8 Patton Kizzire (USA) 67 70 68 205 $203,000
T8 Bryce Molder (USA) 71 67 67 205 $203,000
T8 Harold Varner III (USA) 69 67 69 205 $203,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage