Stuard beats Lovemark, An to win Zurich playoff

RSS

After days of delays and a reduction to 54 holes, the Zurich Classico f New Orleans is finally in the books. Here is how things ended up in New Orleans, where Brian Stuard earned his first PGA Tour win in overtime:

Leaderboard: Brian Stuard (-15, won on second extra hole), Jamie Lovemark (-15), Byeong-Hun An (-15), Bobby Wyatt (-14), Jhonattan Vegas (-13), Jason Day (-13), Chris Kirk (-13)

What it means: Lovemark was trailing both Stuard and Vegas when the third round resumed Monday morning, but he made a move to the top with three birdies on Nos. 10-13. An was the first to post 15 under, and Lovemark had a chance for the win but three-putted from 90 feet on the final green. Stuard birdied the last to join the playoff, and while An was eliminated on the first extra hole it was Stuard who took the title with a birdie on the second extra hole. The win is the first of his career in his 120th PGA Tour start, and it brings with it a two-year exemption and a spot in the 2017 Masters.

Round of the day: Former Alabama standout Wyatt was playing this week on a sponsor invite, but he made the most of his opportunity with a closing 64. While Wyatt has no status on any major tour, he closed with eight birdies and an eagle against two bogeys, and briefly held the lead before a pair of short misses on Nos. 14 and 15. The fourth-place finish earns him a healthy check of $336,000 - as well as a spot this week at Quail Hollow - as he eyes a Tour card for next season.

Best of the rest: Kirk continued his strong return after a hand injury sidelined him last season, closing with a 7-under 65 to share fifth place. Kirk made seven birdies during his third round without dropping a shot, and at 13 under he finished two shots back alongside Day, who closed with a 66. The result is Kirk's fifth top-25 finish in his last six starts dating back to Bay Hill.

Biggest disappointment: Vegas earns a spot here after failing to make a single birdie during Monday's re-start, but Lovemark has to feel like he let the trophy slip away. He held a one-shot lead for much of the back nine, but failed to close things out when he missed a 10-footer for the win in regulation. He again missed a chance to win on the first extra hole, then watched as his approach on the second playoff hole sailed wide left into the gallery, leaving a difficult pitch with Stuard already in tight.

Shot of the day: Stuard laid up on the second extra hole, but he then fired an approach from the fairway that rolled to within 3 feet of the hole. The subsequent birdie gave him the victory after Lovemark could only manage par.

Quote of the day: "My short game was awesome this week, and my putter was great." - Stuard, who didn't make a bogey during the tournament