Error free Brian Stuard wins Zurich Classic

Brian Stuard beat Jamie Lovemark and Ben An in a playoff at TPC Louisiana

Brian Stuard wins Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Brian Stuard wins Zurich Classic of New Orleans
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Brian Stuard went without a bogey at TPC Avondale to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in a playoff against Byeong-Hun An and Jamie Lovemark.

In a Zurich Classic of New Orleans reduced to 54-holes because of weather delays, Brian Stuard posted a three-round total of 15-under-par that tied for the lead with Jamie Lovemark and Ben An at the close of regulation play.

Jamie Lovemark might have won the tournament in regulation play but he left a nine-foot birdie putt on the 18th green short of the hole.

It looked as though Lovemark had played himself out of the mix when he hooked his drive on the first playoff hole, but he recovered well and saved a par. It was An who was eliminated first as he stumbled to a six. On the second extra time down the 18th, Lovemark was unable to make par and Stuard was handed a straightforward opportunity to clinch his first PGA Tour title.

"I kind of hung in there all week. I just didn't get too ahead of myself and just stayed real patient, and it paid off," he said.

3 Talking points from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

1 – In the first PGA Tour event to be shortened to three rounds since the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in 2013, Brian Stuard claimed his first PGA Tour victory, he had been second twice before, in 2010 and 2014. The 33-year-old journeyman put a new Odyssey Fang putter into play for the week, and it seemed to pay off. “I picked it up off the putting green last week in San Antonio (at the Valero Texas Open), and it just felt good in my hands,” he said. Stuard was the only player in the field to go without a bogey through the week at TPC Louisiana.

2 – Bobby Wyatt, playing in only his ninth PGA Tour event might have claimed an unlikely victory. He took the lead with an eagle and six birdies in his first 13 holes. But he three-putted the 14th and 15th holes to lose his chance of winning. He found every green in regulation during the final round.

3 – World Number 1 Jason Day had a strong finish. He improved each round and closed with a 66. He was left wishing there was more time to catch the leaders. “I just wish it was 72 holes,” he said.

Jason Day swing sequence:

Zurich Classic of New Orleans TPC Louisiana, Avondale, Louisiana Apr 28 – May 2 Purse $7,000,000, par 72

1    Brian Stuard (USA)        64    68    69    201    $1,260,000 T2    Byeong-Hun An (Kor)        68    68    65    201    $616,000 T2    Jamie Lovemark (USA)        67    66    68    201    $616,000 4    Bobby Wyatt (USA)        67    71    64    202    $336,000 T5    Jason Day (Aus)            69    68    66    203    $255,500 T5    Chris Kirk (USA)            71    67    65    203    $255,500 T5    Jhonattan Vegas (Ven)        64    69    70    203    $255,500 T8    Patton Kizzire (USA)        67    70    68    205    $203,000 T8    Bryce Molder (USA)        71    67    67    205    $203,000 T8    Harold Varner III (USA)        69    67    69    205    $203,000

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?