Stuard Earns First PGA Tour Win in Abbreviated Zurich Classic Leaving Jason Day Pondering What If

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Note to the PGA: Late April/early May is a bad time to schedule a $10 million golf tournament in New Orleans. Fans who showed up or tuned in for the 2016 version of the Zurich Classic might have thought they had time-warped back to the year previous, where it also looked as though the pros were trying to negotiate the Bayou, rather than a golf course.

The end result for this year’s edition was that the PGA declared the tournament over after 54 holes, a decision they make very reluctantly, since the only one who benefits is the golfer who happened to hold the 54-hole lead.

That would be fine if the tournament had been declared a 54-hole event in the first place, but calling it good due to weather completely eliminates the final round drama that so often punctuates golf at this level.

It might be more a question of perception than of anything else, since this is the first time a PGA Tour event was abbreviated since the 2013 Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, but Jason Day, who was lurking near the top of the leaderboard, just two shots off the 15-under par mark that earned Jamie Lovemark, winner Brian Stuard and Byeong-Hun An playoff spots.