The inaugural staging last year saw a muted finish when darkness forced the sudden death playoff into Monday but the switch to Sunday foursomes meant quicker playing times and a Sunday result.
Horschel and Piercy posted an impressive 5-under 67 in the difficult alternate shot to come from three shots behind and claim the title in a final round that proved more exciting than many expected.
Low scoring is the order of the day in four-ball but foursomes is a different beast, as evidenced by the near eight-shot difference in scoring average between the first and second rounds.
While many expected the comparative lack of birdies to make for a less exciting Sunday that proved not to be the case as 54-hole leaders Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown struggled while several teams charged.
Pat Perez and Jason Dufner, playing alongside Horschel and Piercy, finished runners-up by a shot after a final round 68, Dufner leaving a birdie putt short at the final hole that would have forced a play-off.
Greg Chalmers and Cameron Percy were the best of the Australians at T10, Matt Jones and American partner Chad Campbell next best at T19.
Jason Day and Ryan Ruffels were unable to mount a final round charge and with a 2-over 74 dropped to near the tail of the field.
The switch to a teams format has proved a big hit for the tournament, organisers announcing Sunday that Zurich would remain the title sponsor through 2026.
The introduction of first tee ‘walk up’ music for teams that made the cut proved an exercise in awkwardness but the golf itself delivered plenty of excitement.
Walk up music at the Zurich Classic was awkward but the golf was good.
Chez Reavie and Lucas Glover threatened to break 60 in Thursday’s four balls while Sunday’s grinding golf provided plenty of interest in the finish.
And the drama lasted right to the end with Piercy’s final short putt for par looking like it may miss before catching the lip and falling in.
“It went in the hole,” Horschel quipped with a smile when shown a replay of the close call after the round.
TPC Louisiana was the site of Horschel’s first Tour victory in 2013 and he said to double up at the venue, particularly after some form difficulties in recent times, was extra special.
“It means a lot,” he said. “My game hasn’t been great in the last year even though I did have a win at Byron.
“This validates all the hard work, that you’re doing the right things. Sometimes the results just don’t show and it’s frustrating, especial for me because I’m a perfectionist.
“I feel like if I put in a ton of work I expect the results to show and when they don’t I get a little frustrated.”
Piercy, who has had his own struggles of late, agrees with Horschel and added that winning in a team environment was a bonus.
“To get back is nice,” he said, “and to do it with a good friend is even better.”
SIGNATURE HOLES - 14TH AT CRONULLA GC SYDNEY:
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