Billy Horschel became the sixth first-time winner on golf’s U.S. PGA Tour this year with a one- shot victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, breaking through after two top-three finishes earlier this season.
Horschel clinched the win by rolling in a putt of almost 27 feet (8.2 meters) on the final green at the TPC Louisiana in Avondale, where he shouted and pumped his fists in celebration as the birdie attempt dropped.
“I was like, ‘You know, if it’s my time, this putt needs to go in,’” Horschel told reporters. “It was just pure joy to finally win out here, but also the same time I committed to what I wanted to do and I pulled it off, which was awesome.”
Horschel shot an 8-under-par 64 during yesterday’s final round for a four-round total of 20-under-par 268, one stroke better than D.A. Points, who closed with a 65. It was a reversal of last month’s Houston Open, where Points made a 13-foot par putt at the 18th hole to beat Horschel by one shot.
“He’s played great golf all year, so he deserves it,” Points said of Horschel.
Horschel, 26, received $1.15 million for the win, which was his fourth straight top-10 finish on the PGA Tour. He also tied for third in the Valero Texas Open earlier this month and tied for ninth in last week’s RBC Heritage.
Horschel, whose 220 birdies are the most on the PGA Tour this season, joins Russell Henley, John Merrick, Michael Thompson, Scott Brown and Kevin Streelman as first-time winners on the world’s richest golf circuit in 2013.
The PGA Tour now moves to Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Wells Fargo Championship from May 2-5. Rickie Fowler beat Rory McIlroy and Points in a playoff at the tournament last year for his first victory on the tour.
To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey in Dallas at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at firstname.lastname@example.org