Neither 30-mph winds nor a heavy heart could keep Robert Garrigus from shooting Sunday’s low round at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana.
Garrigus catapulted up the scoreboard with an 8-under-par 64 to finish at 14-under 274, good enough to tie for fifth and get a check for $248,200.
Garrigus had dedicated the tournament to the family of caddie Brent Henley, whose 81-year-old father, Sammy, died Tuesday in Chattanooga, Tenn., after a lengthy battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The player and caddie fought back tears on the finishing holes Sunday.
“I told (the family) that I was going to play for him,’’ Garrigus said. “I was going to go shoot the grass off this place. I didn’t know it was going to be Sunday at 8-under in a 30-mph hurricane. I know he’s in a better place and he’s looking down on us. He was looking down on me today especially.
“Brent was crying on 17. I said, ‘Dude, we got two more holes. Don’t start crying right now, please.’ I was tearing up. After I made the putt on 17 (for birdie), I started tearing up a little bit, just because of the whole week. This is a great day, a special week.’’
Garrigus closed his round in style, posting a birdie on the 569-yard, par-5 18th after smoking his drive 374 yards. His round featured one eagle, eight birdies and two bogeys.
“It could have been crazy,’’ he said. “I missed three or four putts inside of 10 feet and lipped out a 4-footer on 3.’’
He was scheduled to catch a mid-afternoon flight back to Phoenix.
“When you shoot an 8-under par round on a golf course like this and these guys are going to be dealing with the nerves and 30-mph gusts, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens this afternoon,’’ he said. “If I’m swinging well, I can bury it through the wind better than anybody. I think I’m going to fall a bit short. But I’ll stick around a bit. I got to catch a 3:30 flight. Hopefully I have to miss it.’’
It wasn’t necessary: Eventual champion Seung-Yul Noh of South Korea sent Garrigus packing.