In the space of the last 3 weeks, Billy Horschel has established himself as one of the game’s brightest stars. He is also 13 million dollars richer.
Horschel began the 4-event FedEx Playoffs in basic obscurity in 69th place. No player in the 8 year history of the FedEx Cup had won golf’s richest prize starting lower than the 19th position.
Horschel had a chance to win the second playoff event in Boston before hitting a terrible approach shot into the hazard on the last hole which would leave him as the runner-up to Chris Kirk. It wasn’t a bad shot: it was a horrendous one, coming up 30 yards short of the flag and echoing that most dreaded of professional golfer’s words; “choking”.
The 27 year old Floridian has always seemed to be his own worst enemy and has been regarded as one of the Tour’s hot-heads. When he reacted with poise and alacrity in his interviews immediately afterwards, it seemed as though, a more mature and humble Horschel was emerging.
That kind of finish with most players spells, ‘I’ll see you again 3 years”.
After that event, U.S. Ryder Cup captain, Tom Watson made his three captain’s picks and Horschel was not among the anointed troika. Watson’s choices of Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Hunter Mahan were certainly the “safe” picks given their previous experience in the Ryder and Presidents’ Cups and their play late in the season. Hindsight as they say is 20-20 and the U.S. Team will be playing without the hottest golfer on the planet.
Horschel was able to immediately put that disappointment behind him by winning the very next week at venerable Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver. Horschel played clutch shot after clutch shot on the home stretch to close at 14-under par and win the 3rd playoff tournament. Horschel’s win at the BMW Championship was his second on Tour and gave him an opportunity to win the FedEx Cup and the 10 million dollar bonus that goes along with it.
Horschel is the type of player that gets hot and stays hot as his form indicated when he won for the first time last April http://www.birdgolf.com/billy-billy-billy/
This weekend at the season ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Horschel kept up the heat. Going head-to-head with World #1 Rory McIlroy, Horschel was again steely over the closing holes and won by 3 shots over McIlroy and Jim Furyk.
Horschel said that he had a dream earlier this year in which he was hoisting the FedEx trophy which turned out to be prophetic indeed except he was holding up two trophies on Sunday evening. One for each hand; the crystal TOUR Championship sculpture and the Tiffany and Co. FedEx Silver Cup.
Horschel and his wife Brittany are expecting their first child, a girl, in two weeks’ time. Combined with his amazing play of late and his impending Fatherhood, the life of Billy Horschel is greatly changed.
Said a beaming Horschel at the winning ceremony: “I’m not sure life can be better than this.”