April 29, 2018 / 10:48 PM / 7 months ago

Horschel's hot putter helps land second New Orleans title

(Reuters) - Billy Horschel won his second Zurich Classic of New Orleans title on Sunday by teaming up with Scott Piercy for a one-stroke victory over compatriots Jason Dufner and Pat Perez to add to his 2013 individual triumph.

Apr 29, 2018; Avondale, LA, USA; Zurich North America CEO Kathleen Savio (middle) awards the championship trophy to Billy Horschel (left) and Scott Piercy (right) after the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament at TPC Louisiana. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Solid putting by Horschel helped bring home the second crown as he and Piercy posted a bogey-free final round of five-under-par 65 in the alternate shot format to finish at 22-under 266 at TPC Louisiana.

Their fellow Americans Dufner and Perez made it tight with a closing 68 but Dufner came up short with a 14-foot putt at the last which would have forced a tie.

South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen were third at 20-under 268 after carding a 62 but overnight leaders Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown soared to a 77 and slumped to a share 15th.

“The key to this is Billy’s putter,” Piercy told PGA Tour radio. “It really was. He rolled it amazing all week.”

Horschel’s 2013 win was his first on the PGA Tour, but he said Sunday’s triumph also meant a lot.

“You never want to let a team mate down and to feel you helped out the team to victory, that was huge,” said Horschel of winning his fifth tour title, one better than Piercy’s career tally of four.

The pair started the day three shots back, but picked up shots at the first two holes and another at the seventh before seizing the lead with back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11 before finishing up with seven consecutive pars.

“I knew if we were going to have a chance to win, I was going to have to make some putts and I knew I was going to have to make some par putts,” Horschel said.

“It was nice to feel comfortable that I was going to make it.”

Dufner and Perez also were bogey-free with four birdies but their last came at the 11th and they were unable to make a push for victory over the final seven holes.

Kisner and Brown, one-stroke leaders to start the day, fell apart on the back nine with three bogeys and a double-bogey after making the turn at even par following two bogeys and a pair of birdies.

Michael Kim and Andrew Putman, who led after the second round, also had their troubles with three consecutive bogeys to start the back nine and a double-bogey at the par-four 15 to shoot 76 and also tie for 15th.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond

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