Zurich Classic 2013: Billy Horschel leads as delay halts play on 18th hole

Chris Graythen

The horn has sounded yet again in New Orleans, with Billy Horschel holding a one-shot lead in the 18th fairway.

With leader Billy Horschel already off the tee on No. 18, the horn was blown at the 2013 Zurich Classic to put the tournament in yet another delay, tantalizingly close to the finish. Horschel, who's at 19-under, currently holds a one-shot lead over D.A. Points, who also has to finish up on the 18th.

The final group of Kyle Stanley, Lucas Glover, and Jimmy Walker are wrapping up on the 17th green so there really is just about 15 minutes left in the tournament. But according to several people on the ground at TPC Louisiana, including Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman, play will not resume until 7 p.m. ET at the earlier. The players will be off the course for a half hour, and then another half-hour will be built in for warming up -- a significant pain in the ass with only nine players needing to finish up one final hole. There's been lightning sighted in the distance, but the storms haven't hit the course.

Bad weather has impacted the entire week in New Orleans, continuing the trend of a 2013 PGA Tour season that's been plagued by snow, high winds, and thunderstorms on almost a weekly basis. The Tour pushed tee times up a good four hours on Sunday to try and finish everything up on time, but thunderstorms rolled in around 11:30 a.m. ET after the leaders got through only five holes. The Tour was ripped by some players for not pushing tee times up at Bay Hill last month, and storms hit at their forecasted time to push the finish to Monday in Orlando.

It was a good move at TPC Louisiana to accelerate things on Sunday and it allowed for the resumption of play in time to put the finish in range for a regularly scheduled 6 p.m. conclusion. But the last-minute horn has washed those plans away, with the hope that those final nine players can get back on the course to clean things up.

Horschel has been one of the hottest players on Tour throughout the last month, but he's struggled on Sundays. He's worked his way up to the first page of the leaderboard during the first three rounds, but then fallen off with disappointing final rounds. That's not been the case in New Orleans, as Horschel chased down the leaders early and currently has the low-round of the day at 7-under through his first 17 holes.

The day started with lift, clean, and place in effect and the additional one inch of rain in the late morning ensured that there would be lots of birdies coming in on Sunday. I wrote earlier in the day that the winning score would move towards 20-under, and Horschel reeled off six straight birdies around the turn to jump into the lead at 19-under. Points has six birdies and no bogeys but he'll need a one shot swing with both players in the fairway on the 18th.

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