Canada’s Hadwin, Taylor finish 2nd behind Americans Hardy, Riley at Zurich Classic after record-tying day
Nick Hardy and Davis Riley birdied four of their final six holes — highlighted by Riley’s 33-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-3 17th — to give both players their first PGA Tour victory at the Zurich Classic on Sunday.
“It was nerve-wracking, honestly,” Riley said. “The first win is always tough.”
They began the final round three shots back and closed with a 7-under 65 in alternate-shot play to finish with a tournament-record total of 30-under 258 at TPC Louisiana, eclipsing the 259 posted by 2022 winners Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele.
Hardy and Riley were two shots better than Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor, both from Abbotsford, B.C.
“You’re just rooting for each other as hard as you can to hit a good shot,” Riley added. “Luckily we were able to do that. … I was pretty nervous coming down the stretch.”
The winning moment for @DavisRiley68 and @NickHardy8 pic.twitter.com/F3057zZGIH
Riley’s previous best finish was a playoff loss to Sam Burns in the 2022 Valspar Championship. Hardy’s best was a tie for fifth at the Sanderson Farms Championship last fall.
But with a chance to help one another take a maiden victory, “We both handled it very well, especially coming down the stretch,” Hardy said.
Each takes home $1.24 million US and earns a two-year exemption for winning the PGA Tour’s only team event.
Hadwin and Taylor shot 63, tying the course record in alternate shot that was set in Friday’s second round by Cantlay and Schauffele.
WATCH | Hadwin, Taylor charge up leaderboard for record-tying finish:
“I would say we’re in good company,” Hadwin said. “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.’ We had some good looks actually the last three holes. The putts kind of just didn’t fall.”
The Canadians’ 10th and final birdie of the round on the 13th hole briefly gave them a one-shot lead, and they went to the clubhouse tied for first before the eventual champions birdied twice more.
“Heck of a round, 9-under, alternate shot,” Hadwin said. “That’s the most amount of birdies we made all week, and we did it alternate shot.”
Cantlay and Schuffele made eight birdies before their second bogey of the day on 18 left them tied for fourth with Matthew NeSmith and Taylor Moore at 26-under.
“We didn’t have our best stuff throughout the course of the tournament,” Schauffele said.
Alluding to the fact that he and Cantley each played the Masters, RBC Heritage and the Zurich in consecutive weeks, Schaffele added that their primary goal leaving New Orleans would be to “probably just try to get as many hours of sleep as possible in the next couple of days and don’t touch your clubs.”