First Time Winner Takes Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Billy Horschel has not had the best start to his PGA Tour Career. Since getting on tour in 2009, Horschel struggled to keep his tour card. He bounced around in Q-School, the Web.com Tour, and the PGA Tour. He was sidelined for most of 2010 with a wrist injury that required surgery. He played his first full season on tour in 2011, missing more cuts than he made and failed to qualify in Q-School for the 2012 season, causing him to only be able to play a limited schedule. 2012 was better, failing to make the cut only twice and earning his tour card for the 2013 season.

Horschel’s 2013 season has been a complete 180. Instead of looking like someone trying to stay on tour, he has looked like one of the top golfers in the world. In the 12 events he has played, he has yet to miss a cut and has five top ten finishes. The only thing missing was the elusive win that would lock up his tour card for the next two years. He had gotten as close as one can in the past few weeks, with a second and third place finish in back-to-back weeks, but could not quite get over the hump. Then came New Orleans.

TPC LouisianaHorschel finally played well on a Sunday, making six consecutive birdies at one point in the final round, on his way to a course record 64 and his first career PGA Tour win. His four day total of 20-under par is a new tournament record at the TPC Louisiana. With the win, Horschel extended his consecutive cuts made streak to a tour best 22 dating back to last year. He also secured his tour card for the next two years, meaning that for the first time since turning pro, the 26 year old will not have to go through Q-School this year.

Another Good Weekend for the Areas Top Pros

While most of the top pros in the area took the week off, the ones who made the trip to New Orleans made the most of it. Ernie Els missed the cut last week in South Carolina but turned things around this week. The Jupiter resident shot 67-69-72-68 to finish at 12-under and get his third top 15 finish of the year.

Ricky Fowler took some time off after the Masers before heading to the TPC Louisiana. The Loxahatchee River resident shot under par in three of the four rounds on his way to a finishing score of 9-under and his sixth consecutive made cut of the year.

Guan Tianlang Makes the Cut, Fizzles over the Weekend

14 year old phenom Guan Tianlang took the golf world by storm two weeks ago when he became the youngest player ever to make a cut at the Masters. Apparently though, he wasn’t quite done with his 15 minutes of fame. Playing this week on a sponsor’s exemption, the 14 year old eighth grader from China not only made the cut but, unlike two weeks ago, made it convincingly.

After shooting an even par 70 on Thursday, Tianlang knew he was going to have to do better than that on Friday if he wanted to be around for the weekend. He did just that too. Guan fired a three-under 69, easily getting in under the projected cut line of -2.

Over the weekend, we were reminded that he was still just a 14 year old kid. He shot 77-74 over the weekend to finish last out of the players that made the cut. That still doesn’t take away from how Tianlang has played. Most 14 year olds would struggle just to shoot 80 on these PGA Tour courses, and he is making the cut in both of his events. He will now prepare to try and qualify for the U.S. Open in a few weeks.

For a complete recap of this weekend’s event, visit www.pgatour.com.

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