Stuard wins maiden title in a play-off
Journeyman Brian Stuard won his first PGA Tour title at the weather-shortened Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Monday.
Heavy rains severely disrupted the tournament over the weekend, leading to hours and hours of lost time and forcing officials to shorted the event to 54 holes and announce a Monday finish.
Stuard held a share of the lead with Jhonattan Vegas through five holes of their third rounds when play was called off at TPC Louisiana on Sunday.
So you're telling us it rained here… pic.twitter.com/WReNmdPH5h
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 1, 2016
American Stuard and Venezuelan Vegas were tied at 13 under par, one shot better than American Bobby Wyatt, who had put together a stellar six-under-par run through his first nine.
Jason Day had also made some early gains to get in the frame for yet another PGA Tour triumph.
Returning to the course on Monday, Day continued to excel, but not even a third-round 66 was enough to force himself into the reckoning.
Instead, Stuard held firm with a three-under 69 to finish the tournament on 15 under par.
That was only good enough for a share of the lead with Jamie Lovemark, who shot a 68, and South Korea's Byeong-Hun An, who had done superbly to shoot a 65 and join what turned out to be a three-man play-off for the title between three players all chasing their first PGA Tour victory.
Unfortunately for Byeong-Hun, he was the first man to be eliminated after bogeying the first play-off hole of the day, the par-5 18th.
Lovemark and Stuard both made pars and so moved on to negotiate the 18th hole once again.
This time, it was Stuard who made the decisive play, nailing his third shot approach to within three feet for the simplest of birdies:
Spectacular shot for Stuard. %uD83C%uDFAF
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 2, 2016
With Lovemark unable to make his birdie, Stuard had a straightforward putt to seal his maiden PGA Tour victory:
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 2, 2016
Stuard first gained his Tour card back in 2010, although he was forced to return to the Nationwide Tour and re-qualify two years later. His maiden win this week comes in his 120th Tour start.
The victory earns him $1.26 million and a spot in the Wells Fargo Championship next week, The Players Championship in two weeks and the 2017 Masters.
Golfers warned of further sanctions if they continue to play in LIV breakaway
The DP World Tour has issued fines of £100,000 and tournament bans to its members who played in the inaugural LIV Golf event earlier this month
DP World Tour hits members who played inaugural LIV series with £100,000 fines
They have also been banned from several forthcoming tournaments including the Scottish Open.
Rory McIlroy not impressed as Brooks Koepka becomes latest big name to join LIV
The world number two labelled the players who have joined the new series as “duplicitous” for the way they have handled their breakaway.
R&A confirms LIV Golf Series players will be allowed to compete at Open
The 150th Open Championship will get underway at St Andrews in three weeks’ time.
Matt Fitzpatrick turns to other major winners for advice on dealing with fame
Fitzpatrick won the US Open on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka set to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series
Koepka’s brother Chase played in the opening event at Centurion Club earlier this month.
Gary Player urges Matt Fitzpatrick to avoid ‘poison’ of modern-day coaching
Player tells US Open champion Fitzpatrick to learn from mistakes of recent major winners, saying: “The teaching today is the worst it has ever been.”
Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster ready for ‘long party’ after US Open win
Foster won his first major after a 40-year career which includes spells working for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
Matt Fitzpatrick backed to become a dominant force after winning first major
The Englishman claimed his first major title at Brookline.
Matt Fitzpatrick: A Blade with plenty of support who can really cut it
The Sheffield golfer landed his first major – and first professional win in America – at Brookline on Sunday.