New Orleans, LA – Billy Horschel birdied the 72nd hole Sunday to fend off D.A. Points and win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Horschel closed with an 8-under 64, including six birdies in a row from the seventh, to finish at 20-under-par 268. The victory was Horschel's first on the PGA Tour.
"This is something I've worked so hard for. There's so many people I have to thank, and they know who they are," Horschel stated. "That putt to go in ... man, I hadn't made a long one all week and I said I'm do for a long one. I just committed to it, and it came off so good, and I'm so happy it went in."
Points closed with a 65 to grab second place at minus-19.
The outcome was a turnaround from the Houston Open, where Points converted a 13-foot par putt to beat Horschel by a single stroke.
"I'm sort of in my own little zone, but I'm like D.A. is making a lot of birdies, he's got to be near me. And then I saw he was. Obviously, it was a great battle," said Horschel. "He played great. You know, we both pushed each other. He nipped me in Houston, but I think I got him back on this one."
Kyle Stanley posted a 5-under 67 to end alone in third at 17-under-par 271.
Third-round leader Lucas Glover managed a 1-under 71 and ended in a share of fourth place at 15-under 273. He was joined there by Bobby Gates, who carded a 66 on Sunday.
The final round was completed despite a pair of weather delays that combined to last over four hours.
Horschel was two shots back to start the day and had just one birdie over the first six holes. After the first weather delay, Horschel birdied the par-5 seventh to join Points and Glover at minus-14.
That was the first of many birdies for Horschel. He converted a 9-footer at the eighth for birdie to join Jimmy Walker at 15-under. Walker had jumped into the lead with a 27-foot eagle effort on the seventh.
Horschel grabbed the lead by himself with a 4-foot birdie putt at the ninth. Walker followed with a birdie on No. 8 to regain a share of the lead.
At the 10th, Horschel converted a 13-foot try for birdie to move two clear of Points as Walker fell off the pace. Points also birdied 10th to move to minus-15.
Horschel continued his birdie run at the 11th as he dropped in a 6-foot putt. He ran home a 15-footer for birdie on No. 12 to close out a run of six straight birdies. That spurt moved him to 19-under, where he was two clear of Points, who was on a birdie run of his own.
After Points birdied the 10th, he followed with birdies at 11 and 12. Points dropped in a 14-foot birdie try at the 13th to get within one of Horschel.
Horschel's drive on the 15th stopped in the rough on top of a bunker. He failed to reach the green from there and that led to a bogey.
"I got a heck of a break for that ball not to get in that bunker," Horschel admitted. "Even though it was on top, it was a lot better than being in that bunker."
The 26-year-old came right back with a birdie from just inside five feet at the 16th. Horschel and Points both parred the 17th, and after they hit their tee shots on 18, the horns sounded again.
After the threatening weather moved out, Horschel played his second down the fairway before Points knocked his second at the par-5 18th into a greenside bunker.
Horschel hit his third to 26 feet and watched as Points blasted within five feet. Points wouldn't get a chance to force the playoff as Horschel drained his putt for birdie and the win.
Points did make his, but it was too little too late.
"Seven-under with no bogeys, I'll take that every day the rest of my life, and I'll come out on top more often than not," Points said. "I mean Billy played great, I mean amazing. To hole that putt after that delay was awesome. My hat's off to him."
Tian-lang Guan posted a 2-over 74 and ended in last place at 4-over 292.
NOTES: Horschel earned $1,188,000 for the win ... Horschel is the sixth first- time winner on the PGA Tour this season ... Since 1990, he is the 13th player to earn his first tour win at this event ... Horschel leads the tour with 23 straight cuts made, and Walker is second with 20 ... Glover fell to 0-2 when owning the 54-hole lead ... The PGA Tour heads to North Carolina next week for the Wells Fargo Championship, where Rickie Fowler beat Points and Rory McIlroy in a playoff last year.