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Horschel Nails Down First Tour Title
Even though he has been one of the hottest golfers recently, Billy Horschel was still searching for that elusive first-ever victory. All that changed Sunday when the 26-year-old Floridian fired a course-record-tying 8-under 64 Sunday to overcome a two-shot deficit to 54-hole leader Lucas Glover and win the $6.6 million Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.
After opening with four straight pars, Horschel got downright torrid, carding seven birdies - including six straight - in the next seven holes. After losing a shot with a bogey on the par-4 15th, he birdied the par-4 16th and par-5 closing hole to finish at 20-under 268, one stroke ahead of D.A. Points, who posted a 65.
The victory was worth $1.152 million, 500 FedEx Cup points and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour. The win also vindicated Horschel's recent performance, which included three straight top-10 finishes in the Shell Houston Open, Valero Texas Open and last week's RBC Heritage.
Final-round play was halted twice due to threatening weather; the second delay came with Horschel still needing to hit his approach on the 18th. After placing his third shot to 27 feet, Horschel sank the birdie putt. He jumped for joy, his long-awaited first title finally secured.
Horschel then fell to the ground and broke down. "I let it go," he told PGATour.com of the emotional conclusion. "It all came out."
After opening with a 72, Kyle Stanley carded a 67, 65 and 67 in the next three rounds to end up in third at 17-under 271. Sharing fourth at 273 were Bobby Gates (66) and Glover, who could only muster a 1-under 71 Sunday.
Boo Weekley (68) and Harris English (67) tied for sixth at 274, while another stroke back were Aaron Watkins (65), John Peterson (67), Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts (67), South Korea's D.H. Lee (67), Luke Guthrie (68), Kevin Stadler (70) and Jimmy Walker (71).
Bubba Watson, the 2011 Zurich Classic champion, closed with a 66 to end up in 15th at 276 with Ernie Els (68), Peter Tomasulo (68), Justin Rose (69), Nick Watney (69) and Henrik Norlander (70).
Defending champion Jason Dufner closed with a 72 to end up tied for 42nd at 8-under 280 with, among others, first-round leader Ricky Barnes, who shot a 74 Sunday.
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html.
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