Four qualifying spots. That’s all that were up for grabs as 72 golfers teed it up in the Monday qualifier for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at LaTour Golf Club in Mathews.
The scores were low, with former PGA Tour winner Marc Turnesa capturing first place with a score of 8-under-par 64.
Dalton Ward, Matt Mabry and Jordan Payne also qualified, tying for second at 7-under 65.
LSU junior Eric Ricard just missed forcing what would have been a playoff for the second through fourth qualifying spots, tying for fifth at 66.
Ricard’s LSU teammate, Luis Gagne, shot a 67, while former Tiger Andrew Presley was at 68 and Tigers junior Brandon Pierce was at 69. LSU freshman Sam Burns shot a 70, as did former Tiger and Episcopal High graduate Landon Lyons and former LSU player Myles Lewis.
Former Zurich champion and PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner withdrew from this year’s tournament Monday.
No explanation was given, according to a tournament spokesman. Dufner played in the RBC Heritage last week in South Carolina, tying for 54th.
Dufner, who won the Zurich in 2012 and the PGA Championship in 2013, was one of four of this season’s winners in the field. Dufner won the CareerBuilder Challenge in Palm Springs in January and ranks 13th on the FedEx Cup points list.
No replacement for Dufner was officially named, but four-time PGA Tour winner Tim Herron was the top alternate on the FedEx Cup points list at No. 193 entering the week.
The team of PGA touring pro D.A. Points, Rusty Brown, Sean Sextone, Larry Toner and Robert McQueen captured first place in Monday’s Pro-Am at TPC Louisiana in Avondale.
Pro Lucas Lee teamed with John Roberts, Scott Escarra and Jamie LeBouef for second.
Former LSU golfer and current pro golfer Ben Taylor and the team of Chris Bourg, Brother Frommeyer, Don Noel and Danny Wimprine finished third.
Taylor, who is set to play on the PGA Tour’s Mackenzie Tour this season in Canada, is in the Zurich field on a sponsor’s exemption. Also playing on a sponsor’s exemption is former LSU golfer Zach Wright.
Tuesday will be a practice day at TPC Louisiana starting at 7 a.m. There is no admission charge.
There is also a free putting challenge event at 10 a.m. Tuesday at City Putt in City Park (8 Victory Ave. just south of Tad Gormley Stadium) with long-time PGA touring pro Fred Funk.
Wednesday, pro-ams are slated for TPC Louisiana with waves at 7 a.m. and noon, while the L’Auberge Pro-Am tees off at the University Club in Baton Rouge at 8 a.m.
There is a $25 admission charge for the pro-am at TPC Louisiana but no charge for the event at the U-Club.
Tournament play gets underway at 7 a.m. Thursday. Admission is $25 each day or $75 for all four rounds. Military personnel and children under 17 accompanied by a paying adult are admitted free.
For more information call (504) 342-3000.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans open qualifier
Monday at LaTour Golf Club, Mathews; top four qualify
Pos, Player — Score — To Par
1. Marc Turnesa — 64 — -8
T2. Dalton Ward — 65 — -7
T2. Matt Mabrey — 65 — -7
T2. Jordan Payne — 65 — -7
T5. Brian Rowell — 66 — -6
T5. Daniel Chopra — 66 — -6
T5. Chris Worrell — 66 — -6
T5. Ben Suarez — 66 — -6
T5. Eric Ricard — 66 — -6
T5. Joshua Brock — 66 — -6
T5. Jeff Curl — 66 — -6
— Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.