Story and phots by: Greg and Beverly Wise

When it was announced that Rory McIlroy and Sean Lowry were coming the “Big Easy” …  “Fan” excitement was growing, and ticket sales were headed up for the 20th Annual Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

With “Good Fiends” playing together… Anything can happen.

The unique team format of the Zurich Classic plays the first and third rounds as a Four-Ball Format (best ball of the partners) and round 2 and 4 play alternate shot format.

Now anyone in golf that has experienced the alternative shot format. you can be happy with your partner… OR NOT… There is little room for error and jelling together to post an amazing round would take extreme focus.

For the 10:11 am tee time of Chad Ramey and Martin Trainer, sitting on 16-under par total, 8-shots behind the leaders tied for 27th place. Well…that amazing round happened just at the right time…. “The Final Round.” Ramey and Trainer fired a 9-under par 63… posting the score to beat in the clubhouse at 25-under par, roughly 2-hours before the leaders were even scheduled to be complete. They’ve always said… Post a low score and force them to come after you.

With the final 3 holes in front of the leaders… this was going to be a shoot-out to who is going to win.

To borrow a phrase from horseracing… “Down the Stretch they come.”

We were positioned in Tri-Pods Corner and could see the 16th green – par 4. We had full view of the 17th – par 3… and directly behind us was the 18th tee… in order to watch the and hear the action.

McIlroy and Lowry were first to arrive at 16. Needing a birdie to tie the clubhouse leader.

McIlroy drained the birdie and they we now tied with Ramey and Trainer.

The 17th… Lowry pushed an iron in the 17th par 3 and McIlroy was going to need a great chip to recover and maintain the tie for the lead.

Coming up short of the hole, Lowry had a 4-footer to maintain the co-leader status and missed on the outer lip and McIlroy’s tap-in Bogey and now one behind the leader again.

In the meantime… Third round leader Zac Blair and Patrick Fishburn… coming up 16th needed a birdie to also take on the co-leader role.

When Blair and Fishburn completed the 16th… they were now the co-leaders moving to 17th.

Blair and Fishburn double-bogged the 17th and were now 2-stokes behind and would take a miracle shot on the 18th to move back to the co-leader position… and that didn’t happen.

McIlroy and Lowry were headed down the 18th fairway with one thing in mind. A birdie and the tie. A well placed second shot allowed for a great approach for the birdie attempt.

Although we didn’t see the shot… we heard the ovation when the putt dropped on 18th to force a Play-Off in the 2024 Zurich Classic.

After score cards were signed the gallery was screaming and chanting – Rooooory…. Rooooory… and in less than fifteen minutes a missed birdie putt from Lowery to seel the deal… opening the door for Fishburn to make a 3-footer to force a second play-off hole… only to lip out and the 2024 Zurich Classic Champions were crowned in amazing fashion…  

Congratulations to Rory McIlroy and Sean Lowry
– 2024 Zunich Classic Champions

Two Irish boys… in a French Cajun Town…

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