Seung-yul Noh wins the Zurich Classic

What Happened

Seung-yul Noh sat at the top of a very underwhelming leaderboard after a day where he was just striping the ball all over TPC Louisiana. His biggest challenger should have been playing partner Keegan Bradley, and Bradley started out hot and actually took the lead at one point before lipping out about seven separate birdie putts, which took him out of it. Other players on the board made a bit of a charge, but none of Andrew Svoboda, Robert Streb or Jeff Overton really forced Noh’s hand in any serious way. Noh played incredibly solid golf, especially on the back nine, and he walked away with his first PGA Tour win.

04.27.14-noh-final-putt

Final Leaderboard

  • 1. Seung-yul Noh -19
  • T2. Andrew Svoboda -17
  • T2. Robert Streb -17
  • 4. Jeff Overton -16

What The Win Means For Noh

Noh gave a very emotional post-round interview to Peter Kostis where he talked about the South Korean ferry tragedy and what it means to people of his descent. He basically said that all he was trying to do was to come here and get to the weekend after everything that has gone on, and obviously he did much more than that.

Noh had to go back and get his PGA Tour card at the end of last season, but this win today gives him a two-year exemption to the PGA Tour, plus he’s now entered in the Masters for next year, which he’ll play for the first time in his career. At 22 years old, it’s crazy to think that people have been waiting for a while for him to get this win, but that’s what happens when you have the kind of talent that Noh has, especially after posting wins on both the Asian Tour and the European Tour before he turned 20. These are always the biggest victories on the PGA Tour, and I don’t think this is a player that’s going to go away either, which is something that former coach Sean Foley talked about recently.

TPC Louisiana’s bunkers

For the most part, TPC Louisiana is a pretty forgettable track on an incredibly flat piece of land, but the bunkering from Pete Dye is very interesting, with so many tiny bunkers littered all over the course. Last year, I put up this for the 7th hole:

bunker on 7 tpc louisiana

That blue line pointing to the bunker is about 320 yards or so from the tee, right in the middle of the fairway and it’s about the size of a wheelbarrow. Well, if you want to know how Keegan Bradley’s day went, this pretty much explains it:

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 3.34.23 PM

I mean, how do you hit that? Some evil bunkering right there.

David Duval

The biggest story early in the week revolved around former world number one David Duval getting into the event, and actually playing well. Peter Kostis had an interesting take on Duval in Saturday’s third round:

Duval doesn’t have any form of status anymore, with the exception of being able to play in the Open Championship every year after winning back in 2001, and while he didn’t end up finishing the way he wanted to, it was still a very good week for him. There’s nobody inside golf that isn’t pulling for this guy to make it back.

Other Notes

  • Notables to miss the cut: Ernie Els, Billy Horschel, Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler, Kevin Stadler and Patrick Reed.
  • Other notable finishes: Justin Rose and Keegan Bradley (T8), Peter Hanson, JB Holmes and Paul Casey (T11), David Toms (T15), Retief Goosen (T21), David Duval (T25), Boo Weekley, John Senden and Graham DeLaet (T29), Nick Watney (MDF).
  • Injury report:
  1. Matt Every (WD – illness): Every opened with a 76 on Thursday, and decided not to tee it up on Friday. He’ll try again at Quail Hollow next week.
  • David S. Bradshaw, Bobby Gates, Dustin Morris and Tim Herron: the illustrious list of players who finished behind Patrick Reed this week.
  • I mentioned this on Twitter earlier, and I maintain that I liked what Reed said after winning at Doral, but as we all agreed, he was going to need to back it all up.

  • Golf has humbled every single person to play this game, regardless of how good they are and Reed is just the latest example. I’ll say this: there’s a lot of people out there right now who are happy to see Reed struggling the way he is.
  • Congrats to Brooks Koepka, who was able to secure a special temporary membership with his T21 finish. Koepka, who’s been playing mostly in Europe over the past two years, is now fully eligible for sponsor’s exemptions for the rest of the season, and will try to earn his PGA Tour card.
  • Derek Ernst defends next week at Quail Hollow. This was the first tournament since that win where Ernst has posted four consecutive rounds under par since that victory.
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