Horschel, Piercy win Zurich Clas­sic

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - SPORTS -

AVON­DALE, LA. » Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy played bo­gey-free in the al­ter­nate-shot for­mat and closed with a 5-un­der 67 to win the Zurich Clas­sic.

Horschel and Piercy surged into the lead with birdies on the 10th and 11th holes and fin­ished with seven pars to hold off Ja­son Dufner and Pat Perez. Dufner missed a 14-foot birdie putt on the last hole at TPC Louisiana that would have forced a play­off.

They fin­ished at 22-un­der 266.

Horschel be­came a twotime win­ner at TPC Louisiana. He cap­tured his maiden PGA Tour ti­tle at the 2013 Zurich Clas­sic when it was an in­di­vid­ual tour­na­ment.

The vic­tory was Horschel’s fifth and Piercy’s fourth. They each earned $1.04 mil­lion. The team event did not count to­ward the world rank­ing, nor did they earn an au­to­matic in­vi­ta­tion to the Masters. They are el­i­gi­ble for the Tour­na­ment of Cham­pi­ons next Jan­uary at Ka­palua.

The for­mat changed this year to end with four­somes in the fi­nal round, al­low­ing for more move­ment on the leader­board. Horschel and Piercy started the fi­nal round three shots be­hind and birdied the open­ing two holes.

Kevin Kis­ner and Scott Brown, who lost in a play­off at the Zurich Clas­sic a year ago, had the 54-hole lead un­til fad­ing on the back nine and clos­ing with a 77.

Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel shot 68 and fin­ished third.

Chris Pais­ley pitched in for ea­gle from just inside 50 yards on the fi­nal hole as he and Tommy Fleet­wood tied for fourth with Brice Gar­nett and Ches­son Hadley. LPGA TOUR » Ly­dia Ko hit a 3-wood to 3 feet for ea­gle to fin­ish off Min­jee Lee on the first hole of a play­off in the chilly LPGA MEDIHEAL Cham­pi­onship

Ko won her 15th LPGA Tour ti­tle and first since July 2016, a 43-event stretch marked by changes in in­struc­tors, cad­dies and equip­ment and a large weight loss. Five days af­ter turn­ing 21, the New Zealan­der won for the third time at Lake Merced af­ter tak­ing the Swing­ing Skirts LPGA in 2014 and 2015.

Twenty yards be­hind Lee in the fair­way on the par-5 18th in the play­off, Ko hit a 3-wood that cleared the tree limbs on the right, landed in front of the green and rolled inches by on the right side.

Lee, the 21-year-old Aus­tralian who won the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior at Lake Merced, hit her sec­ond shot into the rough near the right green­side bunker and made a 10foot birdie putt.

Ko closed with a 1-un­der 71 to match Lee at 12-un­der 276. Lee had her sec­ond straight 68.

Ko holed a flop shot for birdie on the par-4 13th, twop­utted for birdie on the par-5 15th and matched Lee with an up-and-down birdie on the 18th to force the play­off.

Lee holed out from a green­side bunker for birdie on the par-3 17th.

Korda, a stroke ahead of Ko and Lee with nine holes left, fin­ished with a 74 to drop into a tie for third at 8 un­der with An­gel Yin (67), Shan­shan Feng (68) and Charley Hull (70). EURO­PEAN TOUR » Alexan­der Bjork of Sweden closed with a 7-un­der 65 to claim a on­e­stroke vic­tory in the China Open for his first Euro­pean Tour ti­tle.

Bjork, who trailed by one stroke go­ing into the fi­nal round, made his fi­nal birdie on the 17th hole and fin­ished at 18-un­der 270 at Top­win Golf and Coun­try Club. And then he had to wait to see if it would be enough. Adrian Otaegui of Spain and Matt Wal­lace of Eng­land, who shared the 54-hole lead, each needed ea­gle on the par-5 18th to force a play­off.

Oategui made birdie for a 67 and was run­ner-up. Wal­lace (68) made par and shared third with Jor­dan Smith (64) and Jorge Campillo (68).

Wu Ashun had a 66-67 week­end and tied for sev­enth, the best fin­ish among Chi­nese play­ers. WEB.COM TOUR » Jose de Jesus Ro­driguez of Mex­ico shot a 2-un­der 70 and won the United Leas­ing & Fi­nance Cham­pi­onship by one shot over Wyn­d­ham Clark for his first Web.com Tour ti­tle.

Ro­driguez started the fi­nal round one shot be­hind Mav­er­ick McNealey and seized con­trol when he reached the turn at Vic­to­ria Na­tional. McNealey bo­geyed No. 6, Ro­driguez birdied the next two holes and McNealey dropped an­other shot at the ninth, giv­ing the Mex­i­can a three-shot lead go­ing to the back nine.

Ro­driguez dropped two shots over the last four holes, but by then he had the tour­na­ment wrapped up.

Clark closed with a 67 to fin­ish alone in sec­ond. McNealey closed with a 74 and tied for third with Ky­oungHoon Lee (66).

Ro­driguez won twice in 2011 on the Cana­dian tour, twice in 2013 on the Latin Amer­i­can tour and twice more last year to win the PGA Tour Lati­noamer­ica money ti­tle. The 37-year-old Ro­driguez moved to No. 3 on the money list and is vir­tu­ally as­sured of earn­ing a PGA Tour card for next year. OTHER TOURS » For­mer PGA cham­pion Y.E. Yang had his fourth straight round of 3-un­der 67 for a four-shot vic­tory in The Crowns on the Ja­pan Golf Tour. It was Yang’s first vic­tory in more than seven years, dat­ing to the Korea Open in the fall of 2010 . ... Rourke van der Spuy closed with a 3-un­der 69 for a four­shot vic­tory in the Zam­bia Open on the Sun­shine Tour. ... Joachim Hansen cap­tured his first Euro­pean Chal­lenge Tour vic­tory with a 6-un­der 66 in the fi­nal round to win the Turk­ish Air­lines Chal­lenge . ... Daniel Gale won for the first time on the PGA Tour of Aus­trala­sia by clos­ing with a 6-un­der 65 in the SP PNG Open for a nine-shot vic­tory . ... Ha Na Jang shot an even-par 72 for a two-shot vic­tory over Hye Jin Choi and Ji Young Kim in the KLPGA Cham­pi­onship on the Korean LPGA Tour.


Billy Horschel, left, con­grat­u­lates team­mate Scott Piercy af­ter the pair won the PGA Zurich Clas­sic at TPC Louisiana in Avon­dale, La., Sun­day.

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