Horschel earns PGA victory
Billy Horschel shot an 8-under 64 in the final round of the Zurich Classic, maintaining his composure through a pair of weather delays for his first-career PGA Tour victory on Sunday.
The 26-year-old former Florida Gator began the day two shots behind third-round leader Lucas Glover and surged into the lead with six straight birdies after the first weather delay. He finished at 20 under, narrowly holding off Shell Houston Open winner D.A. Points, who shot a final-round 65 to finish one shot behind.
The second delay happened before Horschel could take his second shot on the 18th hole, giving him 50 minutes to reflect on what was at stake — $1.19 million and a two-year exemption.
Kyle Stanley shot a 5-under 67 to finish third, while Chinese 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang finished 71st after making his second cut in two PGA events, the first coming famously at the Masters.
Horschel sealed the win with a 27-foot birdie putt on 18, after which he pumped his arms and screamed in triumph, before sinking into a crouch and briefly pulling his cap over his face as the crowd roared.
Although Horschel had never won on the Tour, he had been playing the best golf of his young career lately, with three top 10 finishes in his past three tournaments — tying for second in Houston, tying for third in San Antonio and tying for ninth in Hilton Head Island, S.C., a week ago.
He has also made a PGA Tour-leading 23 straight cuts, and had already earned $1.3 million this year. Now he has nearly doubled that, thanks to a final round which tied a single-round course record that has been matched several times, including by Rickey Barnes in Thursday’s first round.
Horschel began the day at 12-under, two shots behind third-round Glover. He began to make his move up the leaderboard with his first birdie on the fifth hole.
His string of six straight birdies ran from seventh through 12th holes move him to 7-under on the round and 19-under for the tournament.