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Former Gator Horschel gets first PGA Tour win

Billy Horschel reacts after a 27-foot birdie putt on 18 drops and he gets his first PGA win.

Associated Press

Billy Horschel reacts after a 27-foot birdie putt on 18 drops and he gets his first PGA win.

AVONDALE, La. — Billy Horschel sensed the time had come to win his first PGA Tour event. This could explain the composure the former Gator displayed in the face of two final-round weather delays and a 27-foot putt he had to make on the final hole to avert a playoff.

Horschel tied a course record at the TPC Louisiana with 8-under 64 in the final round of the Zurich Classic on Sunday, good enough to win by a stroke over D.A. Points.

Points hit out of a bunker to set up a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th, but Horschel rolled in his long victory-sealing putt, pumping his arms and letting out a yell.

"I hadn't made a long one all week and I said, 'I'm due,' " he said. "I was like, 'If it's my time, this putt needs to go in.' "

The 26-year-old began the day two shots behind leader Lucas Glover and surged to the front with six straight birdies after the first weather delay. He finished at 20 under, holding off Points, who won the Houston Open last month by a stroke over Horschel and Henrik Stenson.

"When a player goes out and shoots 8 under and birdies the last hole to win, hats off to Billy," said Points, who had 65.

The second delay, for lightning, happened before Horschel could take his second shot on the 18th hole, giving him 52 minutes to reflect on what was at stake: $1.19 million and a two-year exemption.

"For some reason (the delay) puts me at ease a little bit," Horschel said. "… It wasn't easy, but it wasn't as hard as it could have been."

LPGA: Inbee Park shot bogey-free 4-under 67 to win the inaugural North Texas Shootout in Irving by a stroke over Carlota Ciganda, whose chance for a first LPGA victory was wiped out in a two-hole stretch. Park, the world's No. 1 women's player, finished at 13-under 271 for her third victory this season as she passed $6 million in career earnings. Starting the day two strokes behind Ciganda, Park went ahead with pars on Nos. 14 and 15. Ciganda had bogey and double bogey on those holes, part of her 70. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (73) tied for 28th at 2-under 282, and Tampa's Kristy McPherson (74) tied for 47th at 1-over 285.

Champions: Jeff Sluman, a two-time runnerup with Craig Stadler at the Legends of Golf team event, partnered instead with Brad Faxon to shoot 7-under 65 to finish at 23 under for a one-stroke victory at Savannah, Ga. The duo had five birdies in a seven-hole stretch and made par on their final four holes to win with a 193 total. "I had a wonderful four, five years with Stads and all that, but like everything else, it was time," Sluman said. Gene Sauers and Kenny Perry tied for second with Fred Funk and Mike Goodes at 22 under.

Former Gator Horschel gets first PGA Tour win 04/28/13 [Last modified: Sunday, April 28, 2013 10:54pm]
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