After two-plus days of grinding through rain, sunshine, wind and near-darkness, 39 two-man teams made the cut late Saturday morning for the final two rounds of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
The second round was completed at 10:45 a.m. Saturday after being suspended by darkness Friday night with 40 players still on the course. Players were back on the first and 10th tees for an 11:20 a.m. start to the third round.
The cut came at 8-under-par 136. At 15-under par, Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer held a one-stroke lead at the halfway point of the 72-hole event and shared the lead after 54 holes with Scott Stallings and Trey Mullinax at 23 under.
Among the notables missing the cut were the teams of Jason Day/Adam Scott, Tony Finau/Kyle Stanley, and Charl Schwartzel/Louis Oosthuizen.
Reed, Burns miss cut
Patrick Reed, the former University High standout and 2018 Masters champion, and former LSU All-American Sam Burns of Shreveport were the only players with Louisiana ties in this year’s tournament. Both missed the cut.
Burns and teammate Cameron Champ missed by just one stroke (66-71—137, 7-under). Reed and Patrick Cantlay (65-75—140, 4-under) were four strokes off the cutline.
Get in? Get out!
Billy Horschel, who teamed with Scott Piercy to win the Zurich Classic title a year ago, was steaming after his tee shot at the par 3, 17th hole in Friday’s second round.
As the ball took flight, a spectator yelled, “Get in the water!”
Horschel, who also won here as an individual player in 2013, responded by yelling, “Hey, get the (expletive) out of here,” which was picked up on the Golf Channel’s live telecast.
Announcers apologized for picking up the audio and the spectator was removed from the course.
“I’ve never had any issues with fans,” Horschel said after the third round. “It’s a rarity. The fans here have fun, and you can feel the support and energy. Unfortunately, one guy said the wrong thing and security took care of it.”
Song of songs
Once again, players making the cut teed off in the Zurich Classic to their own selected walk-up music.
Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes picked “When the Saints go marching in.” Three groups chose something called “I’m Shipping up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys, while a couple went with the classic “Enter sandman” by Metallica. Peter Malnati and Billy Hurley III camped it up with “If you’re happy and you know it,” which had fans around the first tee clapping and stomping their feet.
The group of Stephen Jaeger and J.T. Poston selected Garth Brooks’ “Callin’ Baton Rouge,” not just for the locale but for Poston’s karaoke-loving caddy, Aaron Flener.
“His number one song to sing is ‘Callin Baton Rouge,’” Jaeger said. “And he actually has a good voice.”
Flener said he wanted to get the crowd on their team’s side, despite the fact they have no ties to the area. Jaeger was born in Germany and lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Poston is from North Carolina and lives in St. Simons Island, Georgia.
“My team needed me, so I answered the call,” Flener said, tongue in cheek. “It seemed to be well received.”
Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.