Nick Hardy and Davis Riley teamed up for a final-round, 7-under-par 65 to catapult in front of the pack and win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Sunday in Avondale, La.
Hardy and Riley started the day three shots off the pace but carded seven birdies -- including five on the back nine -- and no bogeys to set a tournament record of 30-under 258 for the week at TPC Louisiana.
That was enough for a two-shot win over Canadian teammates Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor, who fired a 9-under 63 for the round of the day to get to 28 under.
It marks both Hardy’s and Riley’s first career PGA Tour wins.
“It was nerve-racking, honestly,” Riley said. “Any time you’re trying to win a golf tournament, more or less to get your first win is always tough. You’re going to have to kind of step up there and hit some shots. Fortunately, we were able to kind of execute some really good shots coming down the stretch, and it was really fun.”
The only team-based tournament on the PGA Tour schedule, the Zurich Classic uses a four-ball (best-ball) format in the first and third rounds and foursomes (alternate shot) in the second and final rounds.
Alternate shot is considered the more difficult format of the two, but that didn’t stop Riley and Hardy from catching fire on the back nine.
They reached 29 under with Riley’s 6-foot birdie putt at the par-4 16th hole. Then came the par-3 17th, where Hardy’s tee shot missed right of the green.
From 33 feet out, Riley putted uphill onto the green and straight into the hole for their final birdie of the day.
“Nick hit a really nice wedge on 16, and then I made the putt,” Riley said. “Then I kind of knew we were in a spot, and we could kind of control our own destiny. For that one to go in on 17 was a little bonus.”
“I feel like I’ve been playing some better golf lately, especially hitting the ball,” Hardy said. “It just hadn’t really showed in the results. Once you get some momentum going -- in an event like this, once you get a little momentum going with a partner, I feel like it just can happen fast. I feel like that’s what happened.”
Hadwin and Taylor, who started the day seven shots back, looked destined to win during the middle of the round when they combined for seven straight birdies, from the seventh hole through the 13th.
Hadwin made a 40-foot birdie putt at the par-3 ninth. The streak ended after Taylor’s 9-foot birdie putt got the team to 28 under, but they finished the round with five pars to stay put.
Their 63 tied the tournament record for a foursomes round.
“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,” Hadwin said. “We had some good looks actually the last three holes. The putts kind of just didn’t fall like they did the first 15.
“It is what it is. Heck of a round, 9-under, alternate shot.”
Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler had a share of the lead after the first round and led the field after Friday and Saturday. But a final-round 71, with two of their three bogeys coming at Nos. 16 and 17, doomed them to a third-place finish at 27 under.
Defending champions Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay shot a 66 Sunday to tie for fourth at 26 under with Taylor Moore and Matthew NeSmith (69). Keith Mitchell and South Korea’s Sungjae Im, who began the day one shot off the lead, posted a 72 and finished sixth at 25 under.
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