April 27, 2014
By D.J. Piehowski , PGATOUR.COM
- Robert Garrigus shot up the leaderboard with eight birdies and an eagle Sunday at TPC Louisiana. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
AVONDALE, La. – Robert Garrigus had been trying all week to do something special for the Henley family. In Sunday’s difficult conditions, it finally happened.
With the Tuesday death of caddie Brent Henley’s father weighing heavily on both player and caddie, Garrigus went out and shot a final-round 64 to put himself on the first page of the leaderboard at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Garrigus would eventually climb all the way to a T5 finish.
“I told his family I was going to play for them and go shoot the grass off this place,” said Garrigus, who made the cut on the number at TPC Louisiana. “I didn't know it would be Sunday in a 30-mile-an-hour hurricane.”
Garrigus and Henley held back most of the tears until the 18th green, but there were thoughts of Sam “Round Daddy” Henley throughout the round.
“Brent started crying on 17 and I was saying, ‘Dude, we've only got to get through two more holes,’” said Garrigus. “I was already tearing up on the putt on 17.”
Garrigus made eight birdies and an eagle Sunday to post his lowest round since a 63 in October at the Frys.com Open. He also missed a 4-footer for par at No. 3 and made bogey at the short par-4 eighth.
“This could have been crazy,” he said.
Garrigus made up for those mistakes on the back nine, chipping in for eagle at No. 13 and making birdie at four of his last five holes, including the downwind, par-5 18th, where he hit a 374-yard tee shot.
“On a flat surface, that might be the longest I've ever hit,” said Garrigus, who had 8-iron into the 569-yard hole (the past three days he’s hit 4-wood, 4-iron and 3-wood). “I'll say 20 yards of it was wind. The other 350 was all me.”
The wind was a welcomed change for Garrigus, who started the day 12 shots back. Some of his best performances on the PGA TOUR have come in heavy winds, including his win at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic and near-victories at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
“If I'm swinging well, I can bury it through the wind better than anybody,” Garrigus said. “I don't fight the wind much, I just let it help me.”
Below: Caddie Brent Henley (background) hugs Robert Garrigus after the round.
Robert Garrigus' emotional finish