Brian Stuard earns breakthrough win with brilliant approach shot in Zurich Classic playoff
A Monday morning finish at the Zurich Classic went on even longer when three players finished tied at the end of 54 holes. For Brian Stuard, though, waiting a bit more for his first PGA Tour title was no problem.
The 33-year-old Michigan native had already shown plenty of patience as a tour pro. But after going winless in 100 career starts on the Web.com Tour and in 119 attempts on the PGA Tour, Stuard finally broke through in his 120th try in New Orleans. And he did it in dramatic fashion.
After Byeong-hun An was eliminated on the first hole of sudden death, Stuard and Jamie Lovemark went back to the 18th tee. And after a poor drive cause him to have lay well back for his third shot on the par 5, Stuard delivered the most clutch shot of his life:
He converted that short birdie putt to beat Lovemark and pick up a title that gives him a spot in next year's Masters as well as some much-needed job security.
"For me, playing out of the 125 to 150 category, and then winning this week, that makes this year and next year, easy, I guess," said Stuard, who entered this week at 184th in the FedEx Cup standings and with just $70,095 in earnings this season. "I don't know, it's going to be, it, I don't know what to say."