It was only a matter of time before Billy Horschel claimed his first PGA Tour win. Little did he know he would have to endure two rain delays during the final round, including one of nearly an hour as he played the 18th hole clinging to a one-shot lead.
But the additional wait only added to the drama as he returned to the 18th, where he drained a 27-foot birdie putt to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The win was his fourth top 10 in his last four events.
He captured the title with a final-round 8-under 64 to win by a shot, tying the course record at TPC Louisiana. The winning putt on the 72nd hole was his ninth birdie of the day. He was 20-under on rounds of 67-71-66-64. His breakthrough win earned him a Masters invite and vaulted him to third in the FedExCup Points race.
Horschel, 26, made his charge up the leaderboard starting at the seventh hole, where he began a string of six straight birdies (and seven of eight holes), tying the PGA Tour mark this season.
But it was his long, clinching putt on the 18th green that brought out the emotion. He held his head in his hands, his face concealed by his PING hat. “I was shaking a little. It all came out, I just let it go, I wanted to win so bad,” said Horschel, who extended his PGA Tour-leading streak of consecutive cuts made to 23. “I’ve been so close the last two weeks. The win is huge for me but it also means a lot to all the family and friends who’ve supported me so much since I was little.”
He relied on a G25 driver, G25 3-wood and 5-wood, S56 irons, Tour Gorge wedges, and a Redwood Piper putter. Horschel earned more than $1.1 million, bringing him to more than $2.5 million for the year and placing him third on the PGA Tour money list.