Former British Open champion Ben Curtis won his first PGA Tour event in six years Sunday, capturing the title at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
Curtis will try to keep his hot streak going, committing Monday to play in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Curtis was one of several last-minute additions to the field, which begins tournament play Thursday at TPC Louisiana in Avondale. It’s his first appearance in New Orleans since 2003, the year he went on to stun the golf world by winning the Open Championship at Royal St. Georges.
Also joining the field is young phenom Bud Cauley, a former player at Alabama. Cauley ranks 33rd on the
FedEx Cup points list and has made $756,922 in 12 events this season.
There were also some notable last-minute departures Monday, among them John Huh, winner of the Mayakoba Golf Classic earlier this season, who tied for second behind Curtis at the Texas Open with Matt Every.
Also dropping out was Farmers Insurance Open winner Brandt Snedeker, ranked No. 10 on the FedEx Cup points list, and three-time PGA Tour winner Anthony Kim.
Kim, who also withdrew in Houston and San Antonio, has had a dismal 2012 season as he continues to fight back from bad swing habits he said were the after effect of a serious thumb injury in 2010. Kim has made just two cuts and pocketed only $33,960 this season, ranking him No. 202 on the FedEx Cup list.
Former University High standout Patrick Reed played in his first PGA Tour event of this season last week at the Texas Open.
Now he’ll play in his second after surviving a four-man playoff in Monday’s Zurich Classic qualifier at LaTour Golf Club in Mathews.
Joey McLister, a 26-year-old mini-tour pro from Charlotte, N.C., earned his first PGA Tour start by winning Monday’s qualifier with a 5-under par 67.
Reed shot a 4 under 68, tying with Billy Horschel, Phillip Hui and Horacio Leon in the battle for the three remaining qualifying spots. A playoff resulted, in which Leon was eliminated.
Reed tied for 35th in San Antonio last week, shooting 3-over 291 (71-74-74-72) to earn $29,915.
Finishing one stroke out of the playoff at 69 was two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, along with PGA Tour regular Shane Bertsch.
Also failing to qualify were touring pros Craig Barlow and Will MacKenzie (70), Dicky Pride (72), former LSU golfer Ken Looper (73), Champions Tour and former PGA Tour regular Kenny Perry (77), former Louisiana-Lafayette golfer and Shell Houston Open winner Mike Heinen (78) and Patrick Jenkins (82), a teacher and assistant golf coach at Catholic High.
Masters winner and defending Zurich Classic champion Bubba Watson will be in the interview room in Avondale at 1 p.m. Tuesday, followed by Ben Crane at 1:45.
Wednesday, Justin Rose, reigning PGA champion Keegan Bradley and former PGA and Zurich champion David Toms, a former LSU star, will be in the interview room after their pro-am rounds.
All interview sessions will be streamed live on http://pgatour.com.
The Golf Channel will carry Zurich Classic action live Thursday and Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. CBS takes over Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The PGA Tour radio network will also carry the tournament daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sirius XM and PGATour.com.
Editor’s Note: This story was changed on April 24, 2012, to correct Patrick Reed’s playing status on the PGA Tour this season.
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