How the Zurich Classic of New Orleans was won in 2011
Bubba Watson two-putted the second playoff hole (par-5 18th) for birdie and defeated Webb Simpson to earn his third career PGA TOUR title. Watson and Simpson, 54-hole co-leaders, both carded 3-under 69s in the final round at TPC Louisiana to finish at 15-under 273. The playoff was the 11th in tournament history, the last coming in 2005 when Tim Petrovic defeated James Driscoll.
More on Bubba Watson
In his last three starts, Watson has finished second (World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship); T4 (Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard); and first (Masters Tournament) and amassed 1,011 FedExCup points during that period to move to second in the standings.
Watson defeated Louis Oosthuizen with a par-4 on the second playoff hole (No. 10) to win the 2012 Masters Tournament at the age 33 years, 5 months and 3 days.
Watson was the second left-hander to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (2003/Steve Flesch). Flesch also won in a playoff.
Watson won in his seventh start at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He has made the cut five times and his previous best was a T5 in 2007.
With the win in New Orleans, Watson became only the fourth left-handed player in TOUR history to win twice in the same season – Bob Charles/1963; Phil Mickelson/13 times/most recent 2009; Mike Weir/2003.
A glance at the field
Thirteen of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings are in the field, including Bubba Watson (2); Carl Pettersson (4), Kyle Stanley (7); Justin Rose (8); and Brandt Snedeker (10).
Shreveport resident and former LSU All-America David Toms will be making his 19th career start at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. He won in 2001 and has three top-10 finishes in New Orleans.
Twelve major championship winners in the field: Keegan Bradley, Angel Cabrera, David Duval, Ernie Els, Lucas Glover, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman, Justin Leonard, Graeme McDowell, Geoff Ogilvy, David Toms and Bubba Watson.
Last two major winners (Keegan Bradley and Bubba Watson)
The last two PGA TOUR Rookies of the Year: Rickie Fowler (2010) and Keegan Bradley (2011).
Eight former Zurich Classic champions: Bubba Watson (2011); Jason Bohn (2010); Jerry Kelly (2009); Andres Romero (2008); Chris Couch (2006); Tim Petrovic (2005); K.J. Choi (2002); David Toms (2001).
Four of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are in the field: Luke Donald (2), Bubba Watson (4), Steve Stricker (7) and Justin Rose (10).
Eight PGA TOUR winners in 2012: Steve Stricker (Hyundai Tournament of Champions); Brandt Snedeker (Farmers Insurance Open); Kyle Stanley (Waste Management Phoenix Open); John Huh (Mayakoba Golf Classic); Justin Rose (World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship); Luke Donald (Transitions Championship); Bubba Watson (Masters Tournament); and Carl Pettersson (RBC Heritage).
Geoff Ogilvy will make his first start in New Orleans since 2004 and fifth overall. His best finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans was T2 in 2002.
Peter Hanson, who missed the cut in New Orleans last year in his only start at the event, will return this year as a sponsor exemption in his first start on TOUR since a T3 finish at the Masters. Hanson was the third-round leader at the Masters before a final round 73 dropped him to T3. Hanson accepted special temporary membership onto the PGA TOUR on March 27 for the remainder of the 2012 season. Hanson, 34, is eligible to receive unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the season.
Former LSU golfer John Peterson, who won the 2011 NCAA individual title, will play in his third career PGA TOUR event. He finished T69 earlier this year at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and T55 at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Last year, Peterson finished T2 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational on the Nationwide Tour.
Miscellaneous Zurich Classic of New Orleans Notes
Bubba Watson will be the third player since 2000 to play New Orleans the same year that they won the Masters. Vijay Singh won the 2000 Masters and finished T24 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Phil Mickelson won the 2004 Masters and finished T2 in New Orleans in his next start on TOUR. He won the Masters again in 2006 and then finished T15 in New Orleans also in his next start on TOUR.
Four of the past seven winners of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans made the win their maiden victory on TOUR (Tim Petrovic/2005, Chris Couch/2006, Nick Watney/2007, Andres Romero/2008).
Bubba Watson ended Mark Wilson’s 12-week run at the top of the FedExCup standings with his second victory of the year at the 2011 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. With 1,339 points, Watson led Luke Donald by 120 points through 19 Regular Season events.
En route to his victory at the 2011 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Bubba Watson tied for first in Greens in Regulation (80.56 percent) and was first in Driving Distance (331.4 yards).
The 2011 playoff at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans between Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson was the 11th in tournament history, the last coming in 2005 when Tim Petrovic defeated James Driscoll and Chris DiMarco.
The 2010 Zurich Classic of New Orleans champion Jason Bohn tied for 67th in defense of his title.
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