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New Orleans Bowl will be in prime time; Sugar Bowl CEO says Jan. 2 shouldn’t have negative effect on ratings

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD  Louisiana Tech Bulldogs running back Kenneth Dixon (1) gets past Arkansas State Red Wolves linebacker Quanterio Heath (52) during the fourth quarter Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, of the New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Louisiana Tech won 47-28.

Thanks to the Saints being conveniently out of town, the New Orleans Bowl will again be in prime time in December. “That’s what we are always hoping for,” bowl executive director Billy Ferrante said Wednesday after ESPN released its bowl schedule, which includes the New Orleans Bowl at 8 p.m. Dec. 17, The game will pit teams from… Continue reading →

Wednesday’s broadcast highlights

Today’s broadcast highlights TV College Baseball 6 p.m. USC-Upstate at S. Carolina SEC horse racing 4:30 p.m. Kentucky Derby draw NBCSN Major League Baseball 11:30 a.m.CHC/PIT or SF/CIN MLB 2:30 p.m. WSH/KC or SEA/OAK MLB 6 p.m. Rangers at Blue Jays FSNO 7 p.m. Red Sox at… Continue reading →

New putter serves Brian Stuard well in playoff win

Brian Stuard kisses the tournament trophy after winning the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., Monday, May 2, 2016. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes due to lengthy rain delays all weekend. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

After giving a new putter a trial run at the Valero Texas Open in his last PGA Tour start, Brian Stuard stuck it in his bag for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans that got underway Thursday. It felt good in his hands, even though Stuard finished in a tie for 55th at the… Continue reading →

Jamie Lovemark mulls missed opportunities at Zurich Classic

Jamie Lovemark hits out of a muddy spot next to the grandstand of the 18th hole during a playoff round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., Monday, May 2, 2016. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes due to lengthy rain delays all weekend. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans was Jamie Lovemark’s to win. Three times. Tied Monday at 15-under with Byeong-Hun An, who had just finished with a birdie, Lovemark hit the front right edge of TPC Louisiana’s par-5 18th green in two shots. Eighty-five feet from the cup, Lovemark needed two putts to clinch his first PGA Tour victory,… Continue reading →

David Toms unsure of future after likely playing in final Zurich Classic

David Toms watches his drive on the 1st hole at the start of the third round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La. Saturday, April 30, 2016. The 3rd round of the tournament was suspended due to inclement weather.  (Advocate photo by MAX BECHERER)

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… Continue reading →

Never-ending rain trims Zurich Classic to 54 holes with Monday finish; Brian Stuard and Jhonattan Vegas are tied atop the leaderboard

Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela tees from the third hole during the third round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., Sunday, May 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The weather won again Sunday at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. PGA Tour officials tried to get the rain-delayed third round in with an early-morning start Sunday, but golf was played for only 2½ hours before another weather system moved in and hovered over the TPC Louisiana layout to spoil all hopes of having a 72-hole… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: As soggy Zurich Classic takes the turn for Monday, you’ve got to root for the underdogs atop the leaderboard

Brian Stuard reacts after making birdie on the second hole during the third round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La., Sunday, May 1, 2016. Right is Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Before we get into which mere mortals could end up claiming the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, let’s first pay homage to the world heavyweight champion and still undefeated winner: Mother Nature. She reminded us silly humans once again who’s in charge, with enough relentless rain to suggest she wanted to see someone named Noah take the… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: Zurich Classic remains under the weather

Light from a sign falls on the 18th hole as spectators walk through the rain after play was suspended due to inclement weather during the third round of the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La. Saturday, April 30, 2016.  (Advocate photo by MAX BECHERER)

Here at the submarine pens known as TPC Louisiana, I’m starting to have my doubts whether they’re ever going to get in enough golf to officially declare a winner of this year’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Wonder if the tournament is insured? Silly question. They’ve managed to get to the halfway point of this year’s event, dragging… Continue reading →

Zurich Classic notebook: Weather disruptions becoming a theme on PGA Tour

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans, which is the 25th PGA Tour event of the 2015-16 season, isn’t the only tournament to be plagued by bad weather this season. Severe thunderstorms suspended the opening round Thursday for 4 hours, 52 minutes after only 11 golfers completed their rounds. The other 145 players in the field had to return… Continue reading →

Zurich Classic: A few minutes with … Sir Nick Faldo

Musician Kenny G, left, laughs as actor Clint Eastwood, right, is embraced by his caddie Nick Faldo, second from right, on the first tee of the Pebble Beach Golf Links during the celebrity challenge event of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Pebble Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

It’s hard to believe that Sir Nick Faldo, 58, is in his 10th year as a broadcaster with CBS. The six-time major champion (three Masters, three British Opens) spoke to The Advocate this week about what keeps him busy when not calling golf, the state of the game worldwide, and his must-have dish when he visits New Orleans:… Continue reading →

From the gallery: Quick takes from Saturday at TPC Louisiana

Sunday’s weather at TPC Louisiana More rain likely, a 60 percent chance. High temperature around 80. Leading/Lurking First-round co-leader Brian Stuard jumped back in front at 12-under, one ahead of Jhonattan Vegas and Jamie Lovemark. Five players were four back at 8-under. Scott Stallings charged to 7-under with three straight… Continue reading →

Zurich Classic pairings for Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday tee times for players who did not start the third round of the Zurich Classic on Saturday; 16 groups were on the course when play was suspended at 5:30 p.m. (36-hole score in parentheses) No. 1 tee 7:35 a.m.: Derek Ernst (137), Lucas Glover (138), Chris Kirk (138) 7:45 a.m.: John… Continue reading →

Teeing off: Your primer for Sunday at the Zurich Classic

What to watch After a second extensive rain delay, tournament officials will attempt to restart third-round play at 7:30 a.m. There’s a possibility the tournament could end Sunday night, but it’s not likely. Unusual finish Players are being sent off the No. 1 and No. 10 tees in groups of… Continue reading →

With jockey Kent and trainer Keith eyeing a title with Exaggerator, the Desormeaux clan will be out in spades at the Kentucky Derby

Jockey Kent Desormeaux, left, and trainer J. Keith Desormeaux, right, celebrate after Exaggerator won the Santa Anita Derby horse race, Saturday, April 9, 2016, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (Benoit Photo via AP)

MAURICE — “Are we still going?” Harris Desormeaux asked Brenda, his wife of 52 years, with just enough touch of doubt to make the visitor wonder whether he was serious. After all, how often do you get a chance to see your sons become only the third set of siblings to reach the Kentucky Derby… Continue reading →

NFL Draft Roundup: Gathers goes from hardwood to gridiron; several La. products hear names on final day

Baylor forward Rico Gathers pulls in a rebound against Southern forward Keith Davis during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, in Waco, Texas. Baylor won 70-66.

The Dallas Cowboys have nabbed a full-time college basketball player in this year’s NFL Draft.

As strange as that may sound, Rico Gathers garnered attention from several teams before going off the board as the 217th overall pick in the sixth round Saturday. Standing at 6-foot-7 and 276 pounders, the native of LaPlace looks the part of a… Continue reading →

Jamie Lovemark and Jhonattan Vegas are atop the leaderboard at 11-under after two days at the Zurich Classic

Jamie Lovemark makes a putt on the 18th green during the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La. Friday, April 29, 2016. (Advocate photo by MAX BECHERER)

Friday turned out to be another long day at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. But the sun and accompanying heat, humidity and wind that greeted players who returned early to complete their first rounds didn’t seem to affect Jamie Lovemark and Jhonattan Vegas — at least not on their scorecards. Both… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: The careers of ex-LSU standouts David Toms and Ben Taylor cross paths in a meaningful way at the Zurich Classic

Former LSU player Ben Taylor reacts after sinking a putt on the 6th hole at the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La. Friday, April 29, 2016. (Advocate photo by MAX BECHERER)

David Toms has made exactly 600 more PGA Tour starts than Ben Taylor. Somewhere in his golf bag, he probably has clubs older than his much younger LSU protégé. Their paths crossed Friday at TPC Louisiana in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Toms, the Tiger in winter, rekindling an old fire. Taylor, the cub by comparison… Continue reading →

Zurich Classic notebook: Friday’s 81 ends Smylie Kaufman’s visit to TPC Louisiana early

After returning Friday morning to TPC Louisiana to resume his first round in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, former LSU golfer Smylie Kaufman had things going his way. Under bright, sunny skies, a stark contrast to the dark clouds and thunderstorms that caused a nearly five-hour delay Thursday, things were looking up when Kaufman carded three… Continue reading →

Defending champion Justin Rose is on the wrong side of the projected cut line at the Zurich Classic

Justin Rose watches his drive on the 9th hole during the PGA Zurich Classic golf tournament at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La. Friday, April 29, 2016. (Advocate photo by MAX BECHERER)

On a steamy, blustery day at sun-splashed TPC Louisiana when many players were seeing red, defending Zurich Classic of New Orleans champion Justin Rose couldn’t see anything on the greens. “I struggled,” he said Friday. “I just couldn’t get it going. I couldn’t see a putt. I couldn’t read a putt. I couldn’t sniff a putt.… Continue reading →

Saturday: TV/radio broadcast highlights

TV arena football 8 p.m. -- Steel at Rattlers -- CBSSN auto racing 11:30 a.m. -- Sprint Cup qualifying -- Fox 2 p.m. -- Xfinity — Talladega -- Fox boxing 7 p.m. -- Ortiz vs. Berto -- Fox College Baseball 11 a.m. -- LSU at Ole Miss -- ESPN2 1 p.m.… Continue reading →

Scott Rabalais: Golf in the Olympics? It can be quite an honor for some pros ... but it’s complicated

Photo courtesy of the Zurich Classic  --  Justin Rose takes a look at his iron shot.

For many athletes, competing in the Olympics is the pinnacle of their sport. A gold medal in swimming or fencing or bobsledding is the ultimate, often lifetime goal. In golf, which is back in the Olympics for the first time since way back in 1904, things are a little more complicated. Men’s golf already has four… Continue reading →

Brian Stuard leads the way at 8-under after a soggy first day at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Photo provided by Zurich Classic  ---   Brian Stuard

Brian Stuard didn’t have much to worry about Thursday during a nearly five-hour weather delay that interrupted the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Stuard was walking up the 18th fairway on his way to an 8-under-par 64, his lowest round this season, when PGA Tour officials suspended play just before noon with a… Continue reading →

Zurich Classic notebook: Martin Piller has plenty of competition right at home with his wife, LPGA standout Gerina Piller

Texan Martin Piller is coming off his biggest payday and best finish on the PGA Tour going into the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, checking in at 195th in the world rankings after a fourth-place tie last week at the Texas Open. Yet he still takes a back seat in his family to his wife, Gerina, an… Continue reading →