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Zurich Classic of New OrleansHe said he would do it, and he did.

Billy Horschel rolled in a 26 foot, 8 inch birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans Sunday in Avondale. Horschel becomes the 5th first time winner at the TPC of Louisiana. In 2012, Jason Dufner won for the first time, beating Ernie Els in a playoff.

Horschel tied the course record with an 8 under par 64. His 20 under score bested by one shot the 19 under score from Dufner and Els last year.

Late last year, Horschel said he would win. And, this week, he introduced himself to Zurich CEO Martin Senn. He told Senn he would be presenting him the trophy Sunday. “I proclaimed in December that I was going to win on tour, I do talk big,” said Horschel. ” I don’t go in front of everybody, but to back that up is huge. I don’t look like an idiot out here.”

The win earned Horschel $1.188 million and a berth in the Players Championship in two weeks in his hometown of Jacksonville.

D.A. Points shot 65, including a birdie on 18 to finish one shot back. Points’ 19 under score would have been good enough for a playoff, last year.

“Seven birdies, no bogeys today, I will take that every Sunday for the rest of my life,” said Points.

Horschel made his 23th consecutive cut this week, longest current streak on the PGA tour.

The Zurich Classic has now been decided by either one stroke or in a playoff nine times since 2003.

Mandeville’s Ken Looper, who prepped at Fontainebleau, and played his college golf at LSU, finished tied for 21st after a one under par 71 Sunday. Looper, playing his first PGA tour event, hit his tee shot in the water at 18. His fourth shot lipped the cup.

“I learned a little bit about course management,” said Looper. “Like I told my caddie I just hit a really bad shot . I wasn’t trying to cut the corner at all, I just hit a really poor tee shot.”

Sports
04/17/13

Guan arrives in New Orleans, practices at TPC

14 year old teen sensation Tian Lang Guan is gearing up for play at next week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Guan practiced Wednesday at the TPC of Louisiana. Last week, the Chinese 8th grader was low amateur at the Masters. At Augusta National, Guan shot rounds of 73, 75, 77, and 75.

Guan qualified for the Masters with a surprising win at the Asia-Pacific Amateur championship.

“It was a great week there,” Guan told WGNO Sports in an exclusive interview. “I learned a lot from the top players. Hopefully I played some good golf, and made the cut. It was really fun.”

Guan doesn’t turn 15 until the 25th of October. He said he will play a few more events in the United States and then return to China.

He said he hasn’t yet considered turning pro.

“Right now, I will go back to school,” said Guan. “There’s nothig to rush.”

Round one of the Zurich Classic is Thursday April 25th.

ALGIERS, LA (WGNO) – Tiger Woods is the biggest name in golf, but at this year’s Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia, Woods is giving up a lot of the spotlight, along with other top golfers, to a 14-year-old from China.

Tianland Guan stunned the golf world Friday afternoon by making the cut to play Saturday and Sunday at the Masters.  He’s the youngest person to do that, and he has a New Orleans connection.

“He made his home here, and he stayed for three weeks,” said Jimmy Headrick, the PGA Director of Player Development at Lakewood Gold Club in Algiers.

Last summer, Guan participated in the club’s acclaimed training program for junior golfers.

“Well he knows how we care about him here at Lakewood Golf Club and the relationship we built with his family,” Headrick said.

Making the cut at Augusta is a fantasy for most amateur golfers.  But not only did Guan manage the feat, he was in the clubhouse tied with last year’s Masters champion Bubba Watson.

Guan did hit a bump on Friday when he was assessed a one stroke penalty for slow play.  But Headrick says even then, Guan impressed.

“He basically said, ‘Look I respect the rules.  I respect Augusta National, and I will move on’,” Headrick said.

According to Headrick, Guan says he will return to New Orleans after the Masters. Headrick hopes it’s for the Zurich Classic later this month.

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