Zurich Classic Tournament Notes 2014

2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans pre-tournament notes
Dates: April 21-27, 2014
Where: Avondale, La.
Course: TPC Louisiana
36-36—par 72/7,425 yards
Field size: 156
2013 champion: Billy Horschel
Purse: $6,800,000 ($1,224,000/winner)
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Twitter: @zurichclassic

How Billy Horschel won the 2013 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

  • In last year’s final round, Billy Horschel began the final round two strokes off Lucas Glover’s 14-under-par lead, but with six consecutive birdies on hole Nos. 7-12, momentum quickly shifted.
  • Horschel then drained a 26’8” putt for birdie-4 on the final hole en route to a final-round 8-under 64 and a one-stroke victory over D.A. Points.
  • His first career PGA TOUR victory became his fourth consecutive top-10 finish on TOUR last season (T2-Shell Houston Open, T3-Valero Texas Open, T9-RBC Heritage, 1st-Zurich Classic of New Orleans).
  • His winning score of 20-under 268 topped the previous-best 72-hole score at TPC Louisiana (seven installments), set by Jason Dufner and Ernie Els in 2012 (269, -19).
  • By comparison, Chip Beck owns the overall 72-hole scoring record with a winning score of 262 (-26) in 1988 at Lakewood CC.

    More on Billy Horschel

  • Four starts after his win at TPC Louisiana, Horschel claimed T4 honors at the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club.
  • He went on to earn berths into all four FedExCup Playoffs events and finished the season 16th in the FedExCup.
  • In 14 starts so far this season, Horschel has made 10 cuts with a best finish being a T6 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
  • Two weeks ago, he finished T37 in his first start at the Masters.
  • The 2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans will be Horschel’s fourth consecutive start at TPC Louisiana.
  • Prior to his 2013 win, he missed the cut in 2012 and finished T26 in 2011.Notes on the field
  • Ten of the top 30 in the current FedExCup standings led by No. 4 Patrick Reed.
    • Reed won two high school state championships at University Lab School in Baton Rouge.
    • In two previous starts at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, he finished T24 in 2012 and missed last year’s cut.
    • Reed will be making his 13th start of the season, and with wins at the Humana Challenge and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, is one of just three players with multiple wins (Jimmy Walker/3 and Bubba Watson/2).
  • Seven past Zurich Classic of New Orleans champions; Billy Horschel (2013), Jerry Kelly (2009), Andres Romero (2008), Nick Watney (2007), Tim Petrovic (2005), Vijay Singh (2004) and David Toms (2001).
  • Defending U.S. Open champion Justin Rose will make his ninth start in this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
    • His best result is a T5 in his first start of 2004 (English Turn G&CC).
    • At TPC Louisiana in 2012 and 2013, Rose finished T10 and T15, respectively.
    • Rose comes to New Orleans this week on the heels of a T14 finish at the Masters two weeks ago.
  • Four-time major championship winner and 2012 Zurich Classic runner up Ernie Els will make his eighth start in the event, and third consecutive (2nd/2012, T15/2013).
    • Els also finished third at English Turn G&CC in 2001.
    • Els, a 19-time PGA TOUR winner, will be making his 10th start of the 2013-’14 PGA TOUR Season this week, with a 4th-place showing at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship his best.
  • Coming off his T5 finish two weeks ago at the Masters, Rickie Fowler is poised to make his fourth consecutive start at this week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans (T26/2011, T10/2012, T32/2013).
    • Fowler is making his 13th start of the season this week.
    • In addition to his Masters finish, his other top-10 finishes were third at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and 6th at the Shell Houston Open three weeks ago.
  • Will MacKenzie is a 2013 Web.com Tour graduate trending upwards.
    • The two-time PGA TOUR winner has amassed five top-10s, including a share of runner-up honors last month at the Valero Texas Open.
    • He enters the Zurich Classic 14th in the FedExCup standings.
    • Tournament notes
      • The Zurich Classic of New Orleans offers players not otherwise qualified the last opportunity to earn an invitation to THE PLAYERS by moving into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking or top 10 of the
        FedExCup standings as of Monday, April 28.

        • After that, the only way into THE PLAYERS is to win the Wells Fargo Championship and, if needed to complete the field of 144, the highest-ranked players on the FedExCup points list, in order of their position, will earn a spot in the field.
      • The Zurich Classic of New Orleans champion has been decided either by one stroke or in a playoff nine times since 2003.
        • Nick Watney (2007) won by three strokes, while Jason Bohn (2010) won by two shots.
        • The 2012 playoff between Jason Dufner and Ernie Els was the 12th in the history of the event.
        • Since 1990, 13 players have made the Zurich Classic of New Orleans their maiden victory on the PGA TOUR, including six of the past nine champions; Billy Horschel (2013), Jason Dufner (2012), Andres
          Romero (2008), Nick Watney (2007), Chris Couch (2006) and Tim Petrovic (2005).
        • In the FedExCup era (2007-present), five of the seven champions of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans finished inside the top 30 in the final FedExCup standings that year (Billy Horschel/2013/16th, Jason
          Dufner/2012/14th, Bubba Watson/2011/26th, Jerry Kelly/2009/22nd and Andres Romero/2008/28th).
        • Since 2000, no player has successfully defended his title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, and just two have followed their win with a top-20 finish the following year:
          Year Defending Champion Finish
          2013 Jason Dufner T42
          2012 Bubba Watson T18
          2011 Jason Bohn T67
          2010 Jerry Kelly T67
          2009 Andres Romero DQ
          2008 Nick Watney T42
          2007 Chris Couch T80
          2006 Tim Petrovic MC
          2005 Vijay Singh T21
          2004 Steve Flesch T45
          2003 K.J. Choi T37
          2002 David Toms T9
          2001 Carlos Franco T34
        • Among those in the field with Louisiana connections:
          • David Toms – Shreveport resident and Former LSU Tiger will be making his 21st start in the event, with a victory in 2001 at English Turn G&CC.
          • Michael Thompson – Former Tulane University undergrad, who transferred to University of Alabama following Hurricane Katrina. Thompson claimed his first career PGATOUR last year at The Honda Classic.
          • Patrick Reed – As noted above, three-time PGA TOUR winner also captured two high school state championships at University Lab School in Baton Rouge.
          • John Peterson – The Baton Rouge resident was the 2011 NCAA Champion while playing for LSU. The three-time All-America also finished T4 at the 2011 U.S. Open.
          • Andrew Loupe – Baton Rouge native and LSU grad (2011) will be making his 11th start this week in his PGA TOUR rookie season. At the Valero Texas Open last month, Loupe claimed his career-best finish of T4. In his only other start at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Loupe missed the cut after rounds of 82-77.

          Miscellaneous 2013-14 Notes

        • Through the RBC Heritage, 19 of the 23 PGA TOUR wins have come from U.S.-born players (Jason Day/World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, John Senden/Valspar Championship, Steven Bowditch/Valero Texas Open and Matt Jones/Shell Houston Open) .
        • Just six months ago, Jimmy Walker began his eighth season on the PGA Tour with no wins in 187 attempts.
          • With three victories in his first eight starts of 2013-14 at the Frys.com Open, Sony Open in Hawaii and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Walker became just the fourth different player in the last 20 years to win three times in his first eight starts, joining Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and David Duval.
          • Walker has cooled as of late, but still holds a 624-point first-place lead over Dustin Johnson in the FedExCup standings.
        • Low final rounds for winners this year have included rounds of: 63 (Jimmy Walker/Sony Open in Hawaii), 64 (Bubba Watson/Northern Trust Open) and (Matt Kuchar/RBC Heritage), 65 (Harris English/OHL Classic at
          Mayakoba) and 66 (Matt Jones/Shell Houston Open).
        • Nine of the 19 different winners in 2013-14 have been under the age of 30: Webb Simpson/Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Chris Kirk/The McGladrey Classic, Dustin Johnson/WGC-HSBC Champions, Harris English/ OHL Classic at Mayakoba, Patrick Reed/Humana Challenge in partnership
          with the Clinton Foundation, Scott Stallings/Farmers Insurance Open, Jason Day/World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship, Russell Henley/The Honda Classic and Chesson Hadley/Puerto Rico Open.
        • Six players currently under the age of 30 have at least three PGA TOUR wins: Dustin Johnson (8), Rory McIlroy (6), Webb Simpson (4), Keegan Bradley (3), Anthony Kim (3) and Scott Stallings (3).
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