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Andres Romero returns to scene of breakthrough win

In only his 12th PGA Tour start, Argentina's Andres Romero came from six strokes off the lead at the halfway point and went on to edge Peter Lonard by one stroke to win the 2008 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Because of bad weather, Romero finished his third round Sunday morning and then finished the final round two-and-a-half hours before the last group completed its play.

The victory was the high point of Romero's career year, where he finished 28th in the FedExCup, earned $2,064,612 and enjoyed two other top-10 finishes.

This is the third consecutive year TPC Louisiana is hosting the event following the course's closure after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Overall, this will be TPC Louisiana's fourth time as the site of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Romero returns to defend his title this week. Since his win in New Orleans, Romero has made the cut in five consecutive major championships, most recently a tie for 49th at this year's Masters Tournament. This season the 27-year-old has a season-best tie for third at the Northern Trust Open.

Louisiana native David Toms made two major changes recently. The first was re-hiring his old caddie, Scott Gneiser, at the 2008 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational after a one-year hiatus. The second was reverting back to his previous equipment company, Cleveland Golf. Eleven of his 12 PGA Tour titles came using Cleveland clubs.

The 2001 PGA Championship winner looks to be back on track after a less-than-satisfactory 2008, when he had just one top-10 finish (a tie for eighth at the Viking Classic) and failed to make more than $2 million in a season ($799,114) for the first time this decade. After nine consecutive years finishing inside the top 32 on the money list, Toms was 131st last year. Toms won this event in 2001 with a 22-under 266.

No player posted four rounds in the 60s at the 2008 Zurich Classic. In 2007, Nick Watney became the first Zurich Classic winner to post all four rounds in the 60s (69-67-68-69) since Carlos Franco turned the trick in 2000 when he posted scores of 67-67-68-68 at English Turn Golf and Country Club.

Watney is the only player to enjoy all four rounds in the 60s at TPC Louisiana. Watney, this year's Buick Invitational winner, has been outside the top 25 in only one of his nine starts this season (a tie for 59th at the Northern Trust Open).

Joe Ogilvie was one of five players to shoot all four rounds in the 60s (66-67-66-68) at the 2004 Zurich Classic, when he tied for second with Phil Mickelson, one stroke behind winner Vijay Singh. Ogilvie's only round in the 60s at this tournament since then is a 69 in the first-round of the 2007 edition. He went on to tie for 80th that year.

Danny Lee of New Zealand, the winner of the 2008 U.S. Amateur, is making his professional debut this week. He played his last event as an amateur at the Masters, where he missed the cut. Lee, winner of this year's Johnnie Walker Classic on the European Tour, is No. 148 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

 

April 21, 2009




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