Though young Ben Martin had never won on the PGA Tour, a case could be made that the Zurich Classic of New Orleans was his to lose going into the weekend at TPC Louisiana.
Holding a four-shot lead after rounds of 62 and 67, Martin seemed poised to build on a third-place tie a week earlier at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, S.C. But it wasn’t to be.
Martin stumbled under the pressure on the weekend with rounds of 73 and 75 and finished tied for 15th at 11-under-par 277, eight shots behind 22-year-old champion Seung-Yul Noh of South Korea.
“I’m not going to lie,’’ said the 26-year-old former Clemson All-American, who set a course record Thursday with a 10-under 62. “It was a tough spot. It’s where you want to be — to have a four-shot lead going into the weekend. I probably wasn’t quite as aggressive. When you’re not going 100 percent, typically the results aren’t going to be what you want. Being the first time with a big lead going into the weekend can be something I can learn from and handle better next time I have that.’’
That said, Martin has $119,000 reasons to be happy with his first visit to the Zurich Classic.
“I judge my performance on the quality of my routine and my process,’’ he said. “That’s why I’m not disappointed in the way I finished because I felt like I was doing the right things to give myself the best opportunity to be successful out there. I’m making strides every week.’’
Toms leads Louisiana contingent
Former two-time LSU All-American David Toms posted his second top-25 finish in 11 events of the wraparound season, closing with a final-round 69 for 11-under 277 and a tie for 15th. He finished tied for fourth at the Puerto Rico Open in March.
Toms earned $119,000, boosting his yearly total to $360,361.
“I scored well today,’’ he said. “It was at least a 2-club wind all day. I just hung in there and recovered from some wayward shots and capitalized on some good ones. They moved some tees up (because of the wind); I thought the pin placements were fair.’’
Andrew Loupe of LSU shot 73 and finished tied for 52nd at 3-under 285.
Former Tulane standout Michael Thompson played himself out of a healthy payout with weekend rounds of 75-75 to finish at 1-under 287. Thompson went from a 12th-place tie after 36 holes (7-under 137) to a tie for 67th and $13,872 after missing 17 of 36 greens over the weekend.
Winds of change
With the 569-yard, par-5 18th playing downwind Sunday, Robert Garrigus needed only an 8-iron to reach the green in two after ripping a 374-yard drive off the tee. In the previous three rounds, Garrigus played 4-wood, 4-iron and 3-wood for his second shot.
“I absolutely smoked it,’’ he said. “I would say 20 yards of it was wind; the other 350 was all of me.’’
Garrigus called it his longest drive on tour on a “flat surface.’’
Did you know?
Noh is the 10th player in his 20s to win on the PGA Tour this season, compared to nine in their 30s and one in his 40s. ... He is the seventh first-time winner this season on tour, joining Jimmy Walker, Kevin Stadler, Chesson Hadley, Matt Every, Steven Bowditch and Matt Jones. ... Noh is the youngest winner (22 years, 10 months, 29 days) on tour since Jordan Spieth won the 2013 John Deere Classic. ... In 77 career PGA Tour starts before this week, Noh’s best showing was a fourth-place tie at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am.
After posting five bogeys in the first 54 holes, 2004 New Orleans champion Vijay Singh scored two bogeys, two double bogeys and a triple bogey Sunday en route to a 77-286. He was 5-over on the four par-3s Sunday. ... After missing the cut at the Zurich Classic in 2012 and ’13, Keegan Bradley finished in a tie for eighth (75-275) and pocketed $197,200. ... Jeff Overton (70) finished fourth at 16-under 272, his second top-five finish at the Zurich in five years. He was runner-up to 2010 champ Jason Bohn.