2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans Recap

2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans Recap

Davis Riley & Nick Hardy Make PGA Tour History in Win at Zurich Classic of New Orleans

In setting the tournament record at the 2023 Zurich Classic of a 30-under 258, Davis Riley and Nick Hardy made PGA Tour history on Sunday, becoming the first pair of golfers to win their first-ever tournament on the same day.

Riley and Hardy started the day three shots behind leaders Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler, but moved into position with a -2 on the front nine. Then after a birdie on 11, the eventual champions birdied four of the final six holes to win by two shots over Canadians Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor. After shooting a 65 on the day, the pair also beat the course record set last year by Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schafuffele.

Sunday’s format was alternate-shot, so each golfer had to rely on their partner as much as themselves to get it done.

“You’re just rooting for each other as hard as you can to hit a good shot,” Riley added. “Luckily we were able to do that … I was pretty nervous coming down the stretch.”

Hardy said there was pressure for both to log their first win, but they were able to feed off each other’s energy.

“We both handled it very well, especially coming down the stretch,” Hardy said.

As the eventual winners birdied 18, Clark and Hossler bogeyed the 16th to fall three shots back, so all that was left for Riley and Hardy to do was watch and wait. Clark and Hossler ended up finishing third at -27.

The victory doesn’t come with an invitation to the Masters and awards each 400 FedEx Cup points instead of 500, but it comes with all the other perks of winning a PGA Tour event: entry into the other three majors, The Players Championship, and a two-year exemption. The exemption was especially important for Hardy, who finished out of the top 125 last year but was playing this year on a medical exemption after he broke his wrist in this event a year ago.

While Hadwin and Taylor fell three shots short of winning, they did charge up 11 spots on the leaderboard thanks to their 63 on Sunday, which tied Cantlay and Schauffele’s alternate-shot record that they set on Friday.

“I would say we’re in good company,” Hadwin said. “Once we got through 14, 15 and we’re still 9 under par, I actually said to my caddie, I said, ‘I want that record.’ We had some good looks actually the last three holes. The putts kind of just didn’t fall.”

Cantlay and Schauffele, the defending champs, finished tied for fourth with Matthew NeSmith and Taylor Moore. After shooting a 72, Keith Mitchell and Sungjae Im dropped from second to sixth in the final results. Si Woo Kim and Tom Kim tied for seventh with Sean O’Hair and Brandon Matthews.

Up Next

After a week off, Masters champion Jon Rahm returns to defend his only PGA Tour win of 2022, The Mexico Open at Vidanta. After winning once last year, Rahm already has four victories in 2023, and he’ll be favored to win a fifth. Tony Finau, who finished runner-up to Rahm last year, is also in the field to challenge for the win.

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