2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Due to wet conditions, preferred lies were utilized during the final round and Monday’s playoff.
The Zurich Classic of New Orleans marks the eighth tournament of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season with a delay/suspension due to weather issues or darkness. It is the first such suspension since the third round of the Puerto Rico Open.
The Zurich Classic was the second Monday finish of the season, joining The RSM Classic.
The Zurich Classic has now had two consecutive Monday finishes. The last tournament on the PGA TOUR with unscheduled Monday finishes was the U.S. Open, with Tiger Woods defeating Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole playoff at Torrey Pines in 2008 and Lucas Glover winning in 2009 in a weather-plagued event at Bethpage Black.
Prior to 2016 and 2017, the last time the Zurich Classic spilled over to Monday was 2004 when Vijay Singh defeated Phil Mickelson and Joe Ogilvie in a playoff.
Due to the weather issues Sunday, round-four tee times were moved up and ran from 6:40 a.m. to 8:16 a.m.
Format: This week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans was a 2-player team event featuring Foursomes (alternate shot) during the first and third rounds and Four-Ball (best ball) during the second and fourth rounds.
Since the formation of the PGA TOUR in 1968, this week marked the first time an official event has utilized Foursome play as part of a team competition.
The Zurich Classic is the first official PGA TOUR team event in 36 years. The last official TOUR team event was the 1981 Walt Disney World National Team Championship, won by Vance Heafner and Mike Holland. The tournament became an individual stroke-play event in 1982.
The Zurich Classic awarded FedExCup points and official money, and will count as an official victory for the members of the winning team. There were no Official World Golf Ranking points available this week.
FINAL Final-Round Leaderboard (Four Ball format)
Jonas Blixt/Cameron Smith                    67-62-68-64—261 (-27)*
Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown                      70-64-67-60—261 (-27)
Kelly Kraft/Kevin Tway                          71-63-70-61—265 (-23)
Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer                   66-66-70-64—266 (-22)
*won sudden-death playoff with birdie on fourth extra hole
On Sunday evening, Kevin Kisner drained a 94’6” chip for eagle on the final hole, with the team of Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith carding a birdie, to force a Monday playoff between the two teams. The sudden death playoff began on No. 18 at 8:00 a.m. CT utilizing the Four-Ball format. Following three holes halved with pars (18-18-9), Cameron Smith finally sealed the victory for he and partner Jonas Blixt with a birdie at the fourth playoff hole when he pitched to tap-in range on the par-5 18th hole. Kisner and Brown were unable to hole birdie putts from within 15 feet to extend the playoff.
The last playoff at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans came a year ago, with Brian Stuard outlasting Byeong-Hun An and Jamie Lovemark.
Entering Monday’s playoff, Kevin Kisner was the only player of the four remaining who had been in a playoff on the PGA TOUR. He is now 0-4, having lost to Jim Furyk at the 2015 RBC Heritage, Rickie Fowler at the 2015 THE PLAYERS, Danny Lee at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic and Jonas Blixt/Cameron Smith at the 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Jonas Blixt/Cameron Smith 
The team of Jonas Blixt (Sweden) and Cameron Smith (Australia) entered the playoff having played bogey-free golf through 72 holes, including Sunday’s 8-under 64. They remained bogey-free over the four playoff holes.
En route to winning last year’s weather-shortened Zurich Classic, Brian Stuard played all 54 holes without a bogey. Incidentally, the last player to win a 72-hole event on the PGA TOUR with no bogeys was Lee Trevino at the 1974 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
The last player to play 72 holes without a bogey and fail to win on the PGA TOUR was Charles Howell III at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic (T9).
International players have won three out of the last four years at the Zurich Classic (Seung-Yul Noh/2014, Justin Rose/2015, Jonas Blixt/Cameron Smith/2017)).
Blixt is one of nine players from Sweden to have won on the PGA TOUR. He moves within two of five-time winners Jesper Parnevik, Carl Pettersson and Henrik Stenson. Here’s the overall list: Parnevik (5), Pettersson (5), Stenson (5), Jonas Blixt (3), Gabriel Hjertstedt (2), Daniel Chopra (2), Freddie Jacobson (1), Richard S. Johnson (1) and David Lingmerth (1).
Smith earned 400 FedExCup points and moved from No. 67 to No. 20 in the standings.
The win for Smith is his first on the PGA TOUR and comes in his 53rd PGA TOUR start at the age of 23 years, 8 months and 13 days (one day older than Adam Scott when he won THE PLAYERS in 2004). By comparison, Jason Day is the youngest Aussie to win on the PGA TOUR, doing so at 22 years, 6 months and 11 days at the 2010 AT&T Byron Nelson.
Here’s the current list of youngest Australian winners on the PGA TOUR since 1970:
Year
Tournament
Player
Years
Months
Days
2010
AT&T Byron Nelson
Jason Day
22
6
11
2003
Dell Technologies Championship
Adam Scott
23
1
16
2004
THE PLAYERS Championship
Adam Scott
23
8
12
2017
Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Cameron Smith
23
8
13
2004
Booz Allen Classic
Adam Scott
23
11
11
1971
Caracas General Motors Open
David Graham
24
8
15
2005
Genesis Open
Adam Scott
24
3
4
The victory for Blixt comes in his 133rd PGA TOUR start at the age of 33 years and 7 days. He is one of nine Swedes to win on TOUR. It is third TOUR win (2012 Safeway Open, 2013 Greenbrier Classic, 2017 Zurich Classic of New Orleans).
Blixt earned 400 FedExCup points for the win and moved from No. 153 to No. 40 in the standings.
Because of his top-125 finish (107th) in last year’s FedExCup standings, Blixt is in the field at THE PLAYERS Championship in two weeks. Smith, who finished 157th in the standings, earns his way into the field at TPC Sawgrass with the Zurich Classic victory.
Smith came into this week off a T6 finish at the Valero Texas Open last week, his best performance this season before Monday’s win in New Orleans. Prior to this week, Blixt’s best showing this season is a T20 at the Farmers Insurance Open.
In Smith’s only previous appearance in New Orleans, he shot 69-70-69-69 to finish T43 in 2015. Blixt is making his fifth start in the Zurich Classic. He also posted four sub-par rounds in his first appearance in the tournament to finish T13 in 2012, the best result he’d had at TPC Louisiana (1st/2017, T72/2016, MC/2015, 70th/2013) before Monday’s win.
Smith, whose previous-best PGA TOUR finish was a T4 at the 2015 U.S. Open, made his way back onto the PGA TOUR this season by virtue of his seventh place finish on the 2016 Web.com Tour priority list.
About Jonas Blixt
Height: 5-10
Weight: 164
Birthdate: April 24, 1984
Birthplace: Nassjo, Smaland, Sweden
Residence: Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Family: Single
Education: Florida State University (2008, International Business)
Turned professional: 2008
Joined TOUR: 2012
Web.com Tour Graduate: 2011
Club Affiliation: Karlstad GC (Karlstad, Sweden)
About Cameron Smith
Height: 5-11
Weight: 172
Birthdate: August 18, 1993
Birthplace: Brisbane, Australia
Residence: Jacksonville, Florida
Family: Single
Turned professional: 2013
Joined TOUR: 2015
Web.com Tour Graduate: 2016
Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown 
One day after beginning round three with nine straight pars en route to a 5-under 67, Aiken, South Carolina residents Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown began the final round with eight straight birdies to quickly erase a four-stroke deficit to 54-hole leaders Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith. The pair went on to add birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 and an eagle on No. 18 for a final-round 12-under 60. The 60 equaled the round of the week turned in Friday by Retief Goosen and Tyrone Van Aswegen (T14).
Kisner and Brown both play out of Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, South Carolina.
Beginning on the 10th hole Saturday, Kisner and Brown birdied 16 out of their next 20 holes, including nine straight from No. 18 Saturday to No. 8 Sunday.
Kisner was seeking his second PGA TOUR (2015 RSM Classic). A win for Brown on Monday would also have been his second victory (2013 Puerto Rico Open).
Both Brown and Kisner have collected two runner-up finishes this season. In addition to Monday’s playoff defeat at the Zurich Classic, Brown’s T2 showing came at the Genesis Open, while Kisner claimed T2 honors at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Kisner made his fifth start in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans this week, with a T28 in his last start in 2015 his previous-best showing. Brown had made three previous starts at TPC Louisiana, with a T36 also in 2015 his previous-best showing.
Earlier this year, Brown and Kisner agreed to serve as honorary co-chairs for the First Tee of Aiken’s capital campaign, as it pertains to the building of a new home on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus.
About Kevin Kisner
Height: 5-10
Weight: 165
Birthdate: February 15, 1984
Birthplace: Aiken, South Carolina
Residence: Aiken, South Carolina
Family: Wife, Brittany; Kathleen (6/9/14)
Education: University of Georgia (2006, Business Management)
Turned professional: 2006
Joined TOUR: 2011
Web.com Tour Graduate: 2010, 2013
Club Affiliation: Palmetto Golf Club (Aiken, S.C.)
About Scott Brown
Height: 5-8
Weight: 170
Birthdate: May 22, 1983
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia
Residence: Aiken, South Carolina
Family: Wife, Allison; Elizabeth Marie (7/8/12), Emmerly Merritt (1/19/16)
Education: University of South Carolina-Aiken
Turned professional: 2006
Joined TOUR: 2012
Web.com Tour Graduate: 2011
Club Affiliation: Palmetto Golf Club (Aiken, S.C.)
Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer 
Texans Ryan Palmer and 2015 FedExCup champion Jordan Spieth finished solo-fourth this week with rounds of 66-66-70-64.
In 10 starts this season, Spieth has finished inside the top 10 five times, including a win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Palmer has also made 10 starts this season, having entered New Orleans in good form with a T11 at the RBC Heritage two weeks ago and a T6 last week at the Valero Texas Open.
Spieth made his second appearance at the Zurich Classic after missing the cut in 2013. Palmer now owns two top-10 finishes in nine appearances in New Orleans (T4-2012, 4-2017).
Palmer’s most recent of three PGA TOUR wins was the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii. He has advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs nine times in 10 seasons.
Miscellaneous Notes
Brothers Brooks and Chase Koepka finished T5 following a final-round 10-under 62. With the top-5 finish, Chase earns a spot in next week’s Wells Fargo Championship.
Defending champion Brian Stuard, along with playing partner Chris Stroud, finished T11.
The Zurich Classic is the penultimate PGA TOUR event for players, not previously eligible, to earn a start in THE PLAYERS in one of three ways: 1) moving into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking; 2) winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans; and 3) moving into the top 10 in the 2016-17 FedExCup standings.
Ten past Zurich Classic champions made starts this week (bold). Here’s how they finished this week:
Brian Stuard/Chris Stroud (2016)/T11
Jason Dufner/Patton Kizzire (2012)/T5
Bubba Watson/J.B. Holmes (2011)/T5
Jerry Kelly/Steve Stricker (2009)/T14
Nick Watney/Charley Hoffman (2007)/T5
K.J. Choi/Charlie Wi (2002)/T24
Jason Bohn/Carl Pettersson (2010)/MC
Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson (2015)/MC
Seung-Yul Noh/Byeong Hun An (2014)/ MC
Billy Horschel/Matt Every (2013)/MC
Here’s a look at how teams with players with local connections finished this week:
Former University High golfer Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay (T14)
Former Tulane golfer Michael Thompson/Tim Wilkinson (T14)
Former LSU golfers John Peterson/Andrew Loupe (MDF)
Former LSU golfer Smylie Kaufman/Harold Varner III (MC)
Gulf States Section PGA golf professional Kyle Ramey/Phil Schmitt (MC)
Bogey-free rounds:
R1: Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer (66), Jonas Blixt/Cameron Smith (67)
R2: 39 teams led by Retief Goosen/Tyrone Van Aswegen (60)
R3: Jonas Blixt/Cameron Smith (68), Bubba Watson/J.B. Holmes (68)
R4: 25 teams led by Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown (60)