While he hasn’t decided what his future will hold once he becomes eligible for the Champions Tour in January, former LSU All-American David Toms likely played his last round in his home state’s only PGA Tour event Monday.
If it was, the 49-year-old Shreveport resident walked away in style after sinking an 8-foot birdie on the 18th green at TPC Louisiana in the final round of the rain-shortened Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
“I have no idea … I couldn’t tell you,” Toms said after signing his scorecard for a 71 and a 54-hole score of 210. “It depends on what the schedule looks like out there next year and what’s going on.
“The problem is, if I play a full schedule on the Champions Tour, that’s 25 tournaments,” he said. “I only play 20 now, so why would I go play the PGA Tour events on a week off?”
Toms, who first played in New Orleans as a pro in 1990 and won the title in 2001, said he thought about it being the end when he birdied No. 18.
“My thought was I just played my last hole at the Zurich Classic … and I made birdie,” he said. “Seriously.”
The TPC Louisiana layout, which measures 7,425 yards for the pros, isn’t exactly tailored for a player like Toms — who isn’t especially long off the tee.
“I can tell you what was going through my mind when I couldn’t reach No. 15 (a par-4 that played 508 yards Monday) in two today,” he said. “I said, ‘That’s the last time I have to play this beast.’”
Later, Toms, who has played this tournament 23 times and made 17 cuts, said he won’t say never about returning. He won $28,029.17 in tying for 36th on Monday to bring his career total here to $1,500,335.71.
“I’ll look at it,” Toms said. “If it looks like it’s going to be a nice week of weather, and everything is going to be nice and firm here so I can reach all the par 4s … you never know.”
Taylor checks in
Former LSU star Ben Taylor earned his first check on the PGA Tour when he tied for 48th and won $16,968.
Taylor, who helped the Tigers win the NCAA title last spring, received a sponsor’s exemption into the Zurich Classic for his second career start. A native of England, Taylor qualified for the British Open last July, but didn’t make the cut.
Taylor finished in a tie for 48th at 5-under 211. After shooting 70-72 to make the cut on the number at 2-under, he closed the tournament with a 69.
Taylor will play this year on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada.
When Brian Stuard won on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff Monday, it was the eighth playoff on the PGA Tour this season and 13th in the 68-year history of the New Orleans event.
The last two playoffs at the Zurich Classic were won by Jason Dufner in 2012 and Bubba Watson in 2011.
On to Charlotte
Players who had a top-10 finish in the Zurich Classic were eligible to get into the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina — the next stop on the PGA Tour — if they weren’t already committed.
Stuard, who won for the first time on the PGA Tour in his 120th career start, took advantage of the opportunity along with Byeong-Hun An, Bobby Wyatt and Jhonattan Vegas.
Stuard is the 11th first-time on the PGA Tour this season. … Since 1990, 16 players have made the New Orleans event their first win on the PGA Tour. … Jamie Lovemark and An, who were in the playoff with Stuard, were also seeking their first wins. … A total of 54 players who finished here Monday will be in the Wells Fargo Championship starting Thursday.
Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.