Justin Rose led the field in greens in regulation and proximity to the hole. (Graythen/Getty Images)
|Zurich Classic of New Orleans
||Winner: Billy Horschel
|Driving Distance||288.3 (27th)||Nicolas Colsaerts (308.4 yards)||T8
|Driving Accuracy||55.36% (T63)||D.A. Points (82.14%)||2nd|
|Strokes Gained-Putting||1.768 (3rd)
||Doug LaBelle II (2.453)
|Greens in Regulation||81.94% (T2)||Justin Rose (84.72%)
|Proximity to Hole||28'-2" (4th)
||Justin Rose (27'-4")
|Scrambling||61.54% (50th)||David Toms (92.00%)
WEEKLY PERFORMANCE STATS ARCHIVE
Week 2: Sony Open in Hawaii
Week 4: Farmers Insurance Open
Week 5: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Week 7: Northern Trust Open
Week 8: The Honda Classic
Week 9: WGC Cadillac & Puerto Rico Open
Week 12: Shell Houston Open
Week 13: Valero Texas Open
Week 14: The Masters
Week 15: RBC Heritage
Billy Horschel got his first career win Sunday, capturing the Zurich Classic of New Orleans by a stroke after a final-round 64 that included a birdie on the last hole to win by one.
Congratulate Horschel below, and we'll pass along your comments.
After three straight top 10s, including a runner-up, Billy Horschel did one better Sunday at TPC Louisiana.
Horschel shot a course-record tying 64 to get his first career victory, winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
D.A. Points shot 65 to finish second, one shot behind.
Afterward, Horschel fell to the ground and broke down.
"I let it go," he said. "It all came out."
With the win, Horschel earns 500 FedExCup points and moves to third in the standings.
After being sidelined with a wrist injury early in 2010, Horschel, 26, has been knocking on the door over the last month.
He finished second to Points in Houston then tied for third a week later in San Antonio.
Horschel again had a chance to win last week, too, at the RBC Heritage but shot a final-round 74 to finish ninth.
Sunday, was a different story.
Entering the week 108th in final-round scoring average, Horschel was nearly flawless, making nine birdies and one bogey.
In the end, he needed every one of them.
Horschel at one point made six in a row in the middle of his round -- matching the longest streak on the PGA TOUR this season -- before adding the clinching birdie on the final hole.
Following the second of two weather delays and some nine hours after they began their round, Horschel and Points returned to hit their final shots.
Horschel landed 27 feet away before Points splashed out of a greenside bunker to 6 feet.
It didn’t matter.
Unlike in Houston, where he watched Points make a putt to win, it was Horschel who made the winner this time.
Horschel rolled in the long birdie putt to finish his week at 20 under and secure the win.
Overnight leader Lucas Glover, meanwhile, never got any momentum on Sunday.
He parred each of his first five holes before the horn sounded for dangerous weather in the area.
After a three-hour delay, Glover returned to the course only to bogey his next hole. He never challenged the lead again, shooting a 71 to finish five back.
Billy Horschel has posted top-10 finishes in his last three starts on the PGA TOUR.
By Brian Allee-Walsh, Special to PGATOUR.COM
AVONDALE, La. -- For Billy Horschel, the key for him to score his first victory on the PGA TOUR is fairly simple.
"Be in contention and no one shoot a 9 under or 6 under on the last day," a smiling Horschel said from inside the clubhouse at TPC Louisiana during a weather delay of Wednesday's pro-am on the eve of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Horschel has been knocking on heaven's door recently, having posted three consecutive top-10 finishes at the Shell Houston Open (T2), Valero Open (T3) and RBC Heritage (T9).
At the Valero Open, Horschel led after 54 holes but shot a final-round 71 and was overtaken by eventual champion Martin Laird who fired a course-record 9-under 63. Runner-up Rory McIlroy posted a 6-under 66.
At the Shell Houston, D.A. Points shot a final-round 66 and sank a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to avoid a playoff with Henrik Stenson and Horschel.
Though coming close is good for Horschel's ego and bank account, it's not the same as winning. But it has made him a fantasy favorite on the PGA TOUR.
"People tweet me and tell me they've picked me this week for their fantasy teams," Horschel said. "That's cool when they pick me, and hopefully, I can keep playing well for them. But no, I don't follow it too much."
Horschel credits his recent success to an improved short game, placing a greater emphasis on and around the green.
"I just got to keep doing the same thing I'm doing," he said. "I can't try any harder. I can't try and change anything. I just got to keep playing the way I've been playing. Keep the same practice habits, the same thinking, the same everything.
"Hopefully, that will help me break through and the (first) victory will come."
His faithful fantasy fans are banking on it.
Billy Horschel kept to his game plan by hitting driver on tight holes at TPC San Antonio. (Dykes/Getty Images)
By Mark Immelman, Special to PGATOUR.COM
It was an exciting week in the Lone Star State, as a strong field assembled at The TPC San Antonio. Chilly temperatures defined Thursday’s play, and a blustery wind made scoring tough over the second and third rounds. Sunday, however, was a different proposition entirely, and near-perfect conditions made the tough Greg Norman design a lot more getable.
Third-round leader Billy Horschel built a three stroke lead early, but Scotsman Martin Laird was not going to go down without a shootout. He fired a course record 63, the lowest round of the week (by three strokes) to overtake the pack for the victory.
I was fortunate to get a ringside seat for Horschel’s play, as I had the call for Sirius/XM PGA TOUR Radio. I thus have a lesson we can learn from him, but Martin Laird’s phenomenal performance in the final round also holds a scoring lesson for us:
Billy Horschel: Horschel was solid throughout the week, but a statistic that defined his performance and something that is key to competitive success was his bounce-back ability. Through 54 holes, Horschel had made seven bogeys, but he managed to bounce back from those with five immediate birdies.
Rebounding from a mistake is imperative if you want to make consistently good scores and there are a few keys to improving your ability to do so:
Have fun despite an error: Horschel told me that he made an effort to enjoy his play no matter what was going on, and I feel like that approach allowed him to stay loose all of the time. That lack of tension thanks to the easy-going approach is imperative to your swing and your putting stroke working as they should.
Go with your money club as often as possible: Billy admitted that he will hit his driver no matter the circumstance, and he stayed true to that approach despite some gusty winds and tight fairways. There is an object lesson in that approach. Just as Horschel did, look for every opportunity to go with your go-to shot and your money club as often as you can. Confidence breeds success, so why not go with a shot (and a club) that you are confident in whenever you can?
Martin Laird: Honestly, Laird’s final round was not something I thought possible considering the difficulty of the golf course. But he got on an early run and then kept the momentum up and closed well for a 63. To me, the key to his record round was not only the fast start he got, it was also his quick three-birdie finish.
Finish strong: In every sports contest, the spoils normally go to the person or the team that closes with a flourish. Certainly, Laird got himself into contention with a great front nine, but his three closing birdies won the event for him. So like Laird, aim to play your final three holes in anything under par, and I promise you that you will move up the leaderboard more often than not.
To that point, whatever your level of play – around par, bogey or perhaps even worse – strive for a strong finish and you will see your results improve. One of many keys to closing well is to stay in the proverbial present on every shot. Make every effort to pull your attentions back to the shot at hand. Those final three holes deserve your undivided attention, so make it a goal to intensify your focus, your decision-making and your visualization on each shot.
Watch the pros, and you will see that happen without fail.
Mark Immelman, the brother of PGA TOUR professional Trevor Immelman, is a well-respected golf instructor and head coach of the Columbus State University (Ga.) golf team. For more information about Mark and his instruction, visit his web site, markimmelman.com or follow him on Twitter @mark_immelman or “Like” Mark Immelman Golf Instruction on Facebook. He also has a golf instruction e-book called “Consistently Straight Shots – The Simple Solution” available on iTunes/iBooks.
Billy Horschel is in unfamiliar territory as he gets set to tee off (12:35 p.m. ETC) in the final round at the Valero Texas Open.
This is the first time Horschel has held a lead through 54 holes on the PGA TOUR, but he's been hot lately, finishing second last week in Houston and having racked up nearly $1 million in earnings before the calendar turned to April.
A couple of reasons why Horschel is where he is, with an invitation to the Masters awaiting should he hang on.
-- Through three rounds at TPC San Antonio, which has some of the largest greens on TOUR, Horschel leads the field in putting average and strokes gained-putting.
-- Of the seven bogeys Horschel has made this week, five times he has followed with a birdie on the next hole. That also leads the field.
Now the question is, can he win?
Jim Furyk and Charley Hoffman are two strokes back, while three others, including Rory McIlroy, are another two back. The wind is also blowing at TPC San Antonio.
The good news is history is on Horschel's side. Each of the last two winners there -- Ben Curtis and Brendan Steele -- held the lead going into the final round.
By PGATOUR.COM staff
A two-shot leader entering the third round, Billy Horschel did nothing to hurt his chances at winning the Valero Texas Open on Saturday.
Horschel, in search of his first win on TOUR, carded five birdies against three bogeys Saturday in a 2-under 70 that leaves him two clear of Jim Furyk and Charley Hoffman at TPC San Antonio. Horschel opened the event with a pair of 68s.
Furyk started the day three back and made up quick ground with birdies on his first two holes. He played the next 15 at even par but added another birdie on the 18th to secure a spot in Sunday’s final group.
Hoffman also started quickly, with three birdies on his first eight holes to briefly take the lead from Horschel. He played the final 10 holes in 1-over after missing a 7-foot birdie putt on the closing hole.
Lurking on the leaderboard will be Rory McIlroy, Bob Estes and Ryan Palmer, who each completed 54 holes at 6 under. Padraig Harrington, Martin Laird, Jeff Overton, K.J. Choi and Daniel Summerhays are another shot back at 5 under.
Horschel earned a career-best T2 finish last week at the Shell Houston Open where he carded weekend scores of 67-66 to move up the leaderboard. He’s got a grand opportunity to 1-up that showing on Sunday.