Billy Horschel had a week that would be the perfect story for a Hollywood film.
On Monday, Horschel came to his second shot on the par 5 18th fairway at TPC Boston needing just a birdie to force a playoff with then leader Chris Kirk. Pulling out a 6 iron and trying to go for the green in two, Horschel chunked his shot into the hazard in front of the green, ending his tournament and giving the Deutsche Bank crown to Kirk.
At the time it seemed like one of those shots that was so demoralizing that it easily could have stuck with Billy, especially with a short week. However, it was quite the opposite. All week he kept saying that it wasn’t going to effect him.
“It was just a bad swing at the wrong time,” Horschel repeated throughout the week. “I’m a guy who doesn’t dwell on stuff. I let things roll off my shoulders.”
Fast forward to Sunday, just 6 days later and once again Horschel is on the 18th fairway, this time at Cherry Hills Country Club just outside of Denver with a two shot lead. No chunking this time as he cleanly hit his approach shot and two-putted for the win at the BMW Championship. In fact, Horschel was so “excited” he sprinted up the 18th fairway to “take care of some business” before making the win official.
“I had been holding it for way too many holes,” Horschel said with a smile. “I just felt like, you know, I can sort of relax now.”
While he might have been able to relax after his shot at 18, it was not an easy week for Horschel. In addition to having to answer questions about his chunked shot and listening to people call him a choker all over twitter, he had to battle for four rounds in Colorado before finally taking home the trophy.
“A lot of people on twitter [last week] called me a choker,” Horschel said. “I didn’t choke. I was coming from behind, you don’t choke coming from behind”.
“That doesn’t affect me, but I just like to stick it to them. It was nice to get that victory and stick it to some of those people that had some negative comments for me on Twitter. I don’t mind it. You want to keep saying negative things to me, that just adds fuel to my fire. I’m just going to stick it to you every time.”
After taking the 54-hole lead, Horschel held off runs by Ryan Palmer, Sergio Garcia, and Bubba Watson in the final round. Palmer caught Horschel on the 11th hole before a bad shot of his own ended his run after he shanked his second shot at 13. Sergio put some pressure on late cutting Horschel’s lead to two until a bladed chip at 17 resulted in an 8 and ending his run. Bubba simply ran out of holes in his pursuit, coming up two shots short and settling for runner up.
The win for Horschel not only came with a $1.4 million dollar check. It also vaulted him to #2 in the FedEx Cup standings, meaning he now controls his own destiny heading to East Lake and the Tour Championship this week. In addition, it was his second win on Tour and in his mind, hopefully the confidence booster he needs to get to that next level.
“Hopefully, this win will give me some more added confidence, and shoot me up there into an upper-echelon player, where I want to be,” Horschel said. “I want to be where the Rory McIlroys are, the Tigers are, the Phil Mickelsons, the Bubba Watsons, the guys that are winning majors. I want to be there. I want to compete with them on a Sunday at a major, go head to head with them.”
Brooks Koepka Records Top 5 Finish in Europe
Having already locked up his playing privileges on the PGA Tour for the 2014-2015 season, Palm Beach Gardens resident Brooks Koepka continued his impressive summer with a third place finish over the weekend at the Omega European Masters. Koepka spent the majority of the week at the top of the leader board and even had the lead at various points of the weekend before finishing one shot out of the playoff that was eventually won by fellow American David Lipsky. The win earned Lipsky full time playing privileges on the European Tour for the upcoming season.
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