TPC Louisiana: Winners and Losers at Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2013

TPC Louisiana: Winners and Losers at Zurich Classic of New Orleans

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    There were a pair of rain delays in the final round, but nothing was going to slow down Billy Horschel at the Zurich Classic.

    Horschel was on fire in the final round, and he came from a couple of shots off the pace to shoot a 64 in the final round and record the first PGA Tour victory of his career.

    Horschel earned the victory in the most stylish of fashions. He rolled home a 27-footer on the final hole to give him a one-stroke victory over D.A. Points, who fired a nearly-as-impressive 65 on Sunday.

    Horschel and Points may have closed the show, but they were not the only impressive performers at TPC Louisiana.

    Here are the rest of the winners as well as the losers at the Zurich Classic.

Winner: Billy Horschel

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    TPC New Orleans played in quite a generous manner as players went low consistently during the tournament. Nobody took advantage of it more than Horschel who shot a 20-under par 268 over the four days.

    In addition to his sensational 64 in the final round, Horschel had opened the tournament with a 67 and he also shot a 66 in the third round. Horschel's worst round was a one-under-par 71 in the second round.

    The victory was the first of Horschel's career on the PGA Tour. However, it was not unexpected. He has been playing the best golf of his career with three top-10 finishes in his last three events.

    Horschel played himself to the top of the leaderboard when he birdied six straight holes midway through the round. Horschel's putting was sensational. He averaged 1.559 putts per hole, ranking the best of all the competitors.

Loser: Ricky Barnes

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    Ricky Barnes may be one of those golfers with all the tools to play exceptional golf, but he may just have a hard time putting them together when the money is on the table.

    Barnes once again demonstrated his overwhelming talent when he fired a 67 in the first round.

    Barnes was in a position to take charge in the tournament and put his stamp on it, but he could not play consistently.

    Perhaps it was because he played so well in the first round, but Barnes lost his grip in the second and shot a 76. He rebounded nicely in the third, but he was off his game in the final round as he shot a two-over-par 74.

    Barnes drove the ball accurately and hit more than 80 percent of his greens in regulation, but his putter betrayed him. He averaged 1.759 putts per hole and that placed him in a tie for 59th in the tournament.

    No golfer is going to contend—no matter how well he strikes the ball—when he putts like that.

Winner: D.A. Points

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    D.A. Points played sensational golf as he finished as the runner-up at the Zurich Classic, just one stroke behind Billy Horschel.

    Points was nearly as good as Horschel in the final round. He fired a seven-under par 65 and mounted a tremendous charge on the back nine. After a decent two-under par score of 34 on the front nine, Points had five birdies and no bogeys on the back nine.

    Points shot 68 or better in three of his rounds, but an ordinary two-under par 70 on moving day kept him from overtaking Horschel in the final round.

    Still, Points struck the ball extremely well. He hit the fairway with 82.14 percent of his drives, a figure that led the tournament. He also averaged 1.600 putts per hole, ranking fifth for the tournament.

Loser: Lucas Glover

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    It's tough to call Lucas Glover a loser for his performance in the Zurich Classic when he shot a 15-under par 273 and finished in a tie for fourth place.

    However, Glover was the leader after three rounds. Instead of being charged up by his performance and ready to attack TPC Louisiana on the final 18 holes, Glover was content not to make mistakes.

    He played his best golf in the first two rounds when he shot 65 and 67. However, he shot an ordinary 70 in the third round and when everybody was watching in the final round, Glover shot a 71.

    Glover was nervous on the front nine and he shot a one-over par 37. He seemed to find himself on the back nine when he birdied 10 and 11, but that was it. The well ran dry after that and he shot nothing but pars the rest of the way.

    Glover ranked 29th at hitting greens in regulation, and that's a big part of the reason he was not able to sustain his early success.

Winner: Kyle Stanley

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    Kyle Stanley played golf about as well as anyone in the Zurich Classic—during the final three rounds.

    Stanley was on fire during the final 54 holes, shooting a 67 in the second round, a sensational 65 in the third round and he closed with a 67.

    The only reason that Billy Horschel was holding the trophy at the end of the tournament and not Stanley was the even-par 72 he shot in the opening round.

    Stanley earned $448,800 with the victory.

    He was at his best on the back nine when he shot a four-under par 32 to claw his way back towards the top. Stanley shot a 17-under par 271 and finished in third place, three strokes behind Horschel.

Loser: Bubba Watson

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    Every time Bubba Watson enters a golf tournament, he is considered one of the favorites to contend for the title.

    When the game's top competitors choose to take a week off and Watson is playing, there's every chance Watson is going to dominate the tournament.

    That was not the case at the Zurich Classic. Watson was not hitting the ball well and his confidence was off as well.

    He shot a 12-under par 276 for the tournament. While that's a solid score, he was eight strokes behind the winner and he never made a real move.

    Watson admitted his ball striking was a bit off in New Orleans.

    Swing was off this week couldn't hit shots that i wanted but birdied last 3 holes today. Flight time hour 5 minutes to home!!! #urwelcome

    — bubba watson (@bubbawatson) April 28, 2013

    He also said his mental approach was not what it should have been and he did not play confident, aggressive golf.

    Played scared golf today! Need to be committed on every shot. Got to improve my mental game or golf is not going to be easy! #Commit

    Watson can clearly play much better golf.

Winner: Tianlang Guan

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    It's 2-for-2 for Chinese 14-year-old golf prodigy Tianlang Guan.

    He has entered two PGA tournaments and he has made the cut in both of them.

    Guan, who was the low amateur in the Masters two weeks ago, made another excellent showing at the Zurich Classic.

    He fired a four-over-par 292 for the four rounds of the tournament. That score put him last among all golfers who completed four rounds, but he shot a three-under par 69 in the second round. That was the first sub-70 round of his career.

    Guan also shot an even-par 72 in the opening round before struggling with a 77 in the third round and a 74 in the final round.