Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Home

Tournament:Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Venue:TPC Louisiana
Winner:Nick Watney

Nick Watney nullified two early bogeys with a stunning eagle at the 5th that propelled him to his maiden US PGA Tour victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Sunday
That eagle, which buoyed his spirits and put him back in the race, and a birdie at 14 that earned him a two-shot swing, were the critical components that changed the course of his tense, see-saw battle with closest pursuer Ken Duke.
It also helped him go under 70 for a 4th successive round and shoot a 3-under-par 69 for a 15-under 273 total and a three-shot victory over Duke at the Pete Dye-designed TPC of Louisiana.
“You have to be lucky to hole one like that,” a delighted Watney said of his eagle.
“It definitely was my week.
“I’m so happy. I’m so proud. I’m really glad I came,” he added, having earlier paid tribute to the large galleries who all week had swarmed over a course that had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
“I know there was a big event here, a lot of destruction. It’s pretty remarkable that you people have come back. And you bothered to come out here to a golf tournament. That’s pretty impressive.”
The leader by two shots entering the final round, Watney’s early bogeys were to help rob him of this advantage and enable a charging Duke, who had birdied four of his first eight holes, to lead through 10 in what had by then become a two-horse race.
But the 38-year-old Duke, Player of the Year on the Nationwide Tour in 2006, didn’t stay in front for very long
Birdies by Watney at 11 and 14 as against bogeys at 14 and 18 by a faltering Duke effectively ended the contest and enabled Watney to win going away, giving him an early 26th birthday present of $1,098 million (£540,870) and a coveted two-year exemption.
His previous best finish was a fifth-place tie last season at both the Reno-Tahoe Open and the FUNAI Classic.
Anthony Kim had the day’s best round, a seven-under 65, and finished tied for third with John Mallinger at 11-under 277.
Second-round leader Mark Calcavecchia could only manage a 71 and was another shot back at 278 with Bubba Watson and Chris Stroud.
Kyle Reifers, the rookie who posted a course record 64 in the first round, couldn’t finish anywhere near the way he had started, closing with a dismal 75 that left him trailing far behind the leaders in joint 24th place
Tall, broad-shouldered Watney was clearly one of the crowd favourites, but his victory was also popular among his rivals.
“Nick is the kind of guy you pull for,” said Johnson Wagner, a rookie who played against Watney on the Nationwide Tour.
“He is a genuinely nice guy.”
Brandt Snedeker, like Wagner a Nationwide Tour graduate in 2006, also praised the first-time winner.
“To me it’s a miracle he hasn’t won before today,” Snedeker enthused.
“He’s got a ton of game and you won’t find anybody out here who has something bad to say about him. He’s the perfect kind of guy to be playing and winning on the PGA TOUR.”
ALL THE FINAL ROUND SCORES
(USA unless stated, par 72):
273 Nick Watney 69 67 68 69
276 Ken Duke 69 71 66 70
277 Anthony Kim 71 72 69 65, John Mallinger 69 70 71 67
278 Chris Stroud 68 70 71 69, Mark Calcavecchia 66 69 72 71, Bubba Watson 72 67 70 69
279 Bob Estes 69 71 70 69, Lucas Glover 67 69 74 69, Alex Cejka (Ger) 70 72 69 68
280 Steve Stricker 71 72 70 67, Jeff Maggert 72 69 68 71, Mathias Gronberg (Swe) 72 70 71 67, Ryan Moore 70 72 70 68
281 Daniel Chopra (Swe) 70 68 75 68, Sean O’Hair 71 70 69 71, Harrison Frazar 71 69 71 70
282 Michael Sim (Aus) 71 69 70 72, Duffy Waldorf 68 71 71 72, John Merrick 69 70 72 71, Shaun Micheel 71 72 69 70, Woody Austin 70 73 70 69, Frank Lickliter II 72 70 69 71
283 Tim Petrovic 67 72 74 70, Kyle Reifers 64 73 71 75, Lee Janzen 69 74 73 67, Scott Gutschewski 70 70 67 76
284 Michael Putnam 73 69 71 71, Darron Stiles 68 74 71 71, Steve Elkington (Aus) 70 72 72 70, Will MacKenzie 72 69 70 73, Michael Allen 69 70 75 70, Jarrod Lyle (Aus) 71 69 71 73, Mathew Goggin (Aus) 70 72 71 71, Bo Van Pelt 70 71 71 72, Jason Schultz 67 71 72 74, Jesper Parnevik (Swe) 70 73 69 72
285 Jerry Smith 70 71 75 69, Ryan Palmer 70 69 71 75, John Huston 70 70 73 72, Craig Bowden 71 70 72 72, Douglas Labelle 69 73 73 70, Peter Lonard (Aus) 71 68 74 72
286 Tom Johnson 67 76 70 73, Jason Dufner 74 69 70 73, David Toms 69 71 74 72, Charlie Wi (Kor) 71 69 72 74, George McNeill 69 72 74 71, Jay Delsing 73 70 70 73, Ryan Armour 72 69 75 70, Carlos Franco (Par) 68 74 73 71, Wes Short jr. 69 69 71 77, Shigeki Maruyama (Jpn) 72 71 70 73, Danny Ellis 69 72 72 73, Briny Baird 71 70 73 72
287 Nathan Green (Aus) 71 71 74 71, Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 69 73 72 73, Paul Stankowski 69 69 71 78, Vance Veazey 71 72 75 69, Chris Smith 72 71 73 71, Matt Kuchar 72 69 71 75, Steve Allan (Aus) 72 71 72 72, Brian Bateman 70 73 67 77
288 Ted Purdy 69 71 72 76, Steve Wheatcroft 68 70 74 76
289 Kirk Triplett 72 71 74 72, Charley Hoffman 68 69 73 79, Mark Hensby (Aus) 72 69 72 76, Kenny Perry 70 73 72 74, John Cook 74 69 73 73, Dan Forsman 71 71 74 73, Ryuji Imada (Jpn) 71 72 74 72, Craig Kanada 71 70 73 75
290 Kevin Stadler 71 71 72 76, Brian Gay 73 69 77 71, Troy Matteson 73 70 72 75, Rocco Mediate 71 70 73 76
291 Craig Lile (Rsa) 77 65 76 73, Martin Rominger (Swi) 73 68 76 74
292 Chris DiMarco 71 70 80 71, Joe Ogilvie 69 73 78 72, Chris Couch 72 71 75 74, Kevin Sutherland 68 73 76 75, Rich Barcelo 72 71 76 73
294 Tommy Armour III 70 73 71 80