American golf star Billy Horschel enjoyed what every golf father dreams about after his three young children and wife ran onto the 18th green at Muirfield Village to celebrate his workman-like four-shot victory at the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday, an event hosted by legend Jack Nicklaus. His seventh PGA TOUR victory also puts him in the right frame of mind ahead of the U.S. Open, the year’s third major, at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts which starts on June 16.
By Billy Horschel
It’s sort of a running joke in our family that my wife and my kids have never been at a victory. My wife, Brittany has never wanted to fly in on a Saturday night when I’ve had a chance to win, so she feels like she may be bringing bad luck or something. I had a chance to win Bay Hill this year and my family was there. They were right on the 18th green and as I was walking up, I had a chance to make a putt to get into a playoff with Scottie Scheffler but missed the chance.
I’ve always wanted that one moment where my family runs out, the kids run out, that I can always look back for many years to come and they can look back at for their entire life of being on the green and congratulating their father for a victory. So it’s special to have that video and those photos for the rest of our lives with my win at the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday.
Any win is special out here. Yes, it’s tough to win on the PGA TOUR and I’ve said for many years that I probably watch more golf than any PGA TOUR player on TV. Maybe it’s a good thing or maybe it’s a bad thing, but I’ve watched Tiger Woods and how he closes out events. I wasn’t born yet in Jack Nicklaus’s heyday but I have watched old footage and you see how he plotted his way around the golf course. He would take a lead and made sure he was never giving up shots back to the guys.
I have a very good understanding of how to win golf tournaments. Have I put myself there a lot? The answer is no, but I think my record is pretty good when I do have a chance to win and closing out events. You realize the value of par which means a lot on a Sunday, especially when you’re around the lead or leading a golf tournament.
I’m a guy who loves grinding it out. I am a guy who doesn’t mind if it’s not pretty as long as I get the ball in the hole with the least amount of shots … that’s all that matters. During the final round at the Memorial, I started off feeling very good about my swing, and I just figured out a way to get the ball in the hole as quickly as we can. And I feel like I do that very well.
It’ll be an off week now before I head up to the U.S. Open. Obviously my major record is pretty abysmal but I feel very confident with what we’ve done over the last two years. Results don’t always show and going into this U.S. Open, understanding you have to drive the ball really well, that’s one thing I am doing very well these days. You also have to make putts and I’m a really good putter inside of 10 feet. These are two things that are crucial at a U.S. Open, and I think I check the boxes off with that.
I’ve always felt like U.S. Open venues and the way they set them up favours me very well. I know my only top-10 in a major is in a U.S. Open, so hopefully I get to change that very soon. You’ve got to have very good control of your iron play into greens when they get very firm and very fast and laying them exactly where you’re trying to get on the green to stay on the green, but also have a legitimate chance of making a birdie.
At this point, I’m very comfortable with where my game’s at. I’m a perfectionist and I’m going to take the week off and fly up Sunday morning and check out Brookline for the first time. I haven’t been there before although I watched it in 1999 when the U.S. won the Ryder Cup. My wife did play in a member-guest there last year, so she has more insight on the golf course than I do!
Speaking of the Ryder Cup, I don’t really focus on the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup points list. I’ve always felt if I can take care of my own business, then I’ll have a chance of making a team whether it’s on points or being a captain’s pick. For the last decade-plus, I’ve been close to making a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup team. I just haven’t played very well in the last few months leading up to the selection of the team and I know there’s a long ways to go before the selections take place for the Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow this September.
I’m just going to go out there, and try to play really good golf. Hopefully if I play good golf everything falls in line. That’s always been my mentality and my focus. What it does for my confidence, it shows what we’re doing at home and what we’re doing on a weekly basis, we’re doing the right things.
I’ve said this for many years now: You work hard at the game and you try to do the right things and sometimes the results don’t always come to fruition right away. It takes a little bit of time and some guys, they’re not seeing the results right away. They change, they change teachers, what they’re doing and give up on the process. I’m not like that. I believe in the process that my team and I have put in place.
I believe we prep better than anyone on a weekly basis. However, that doesn’t mean we’re going to always play well on a weekly basis, it just gives us a better opportunity to succeed. And so this latest win, I feel like it’s been a long time coming. It’s nice to see the results for myself, and it’s nice to finally see the results for my teacher, Todd Anderson, who has been with me since 2008. He works his butt off. And he’s always trying to get better like me.
My caddie, Fooch (Mark Fulcher) joined the team pretty much a year ago last year. And everyone from my trainer and physio, we’re always working hard. I do probably work my team pretty hard too as I’m a hard worker myself. Sometimes they get a little tired because I want to just keep pushing and keep going forward. The great thing is they all understand it’s all for the betterment of the team and hopefully gives us the best chance to be victorious. And it’s great to have three wins in roughly the last 15 months (2021 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and 2021 BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth).
Fooch is one of the best caddies, if not the best caddie in the business, in my opinion. He’s been doing it for 30 years and he’s had some unbelievable players. He brings a level of experience. He’s seen what the best players, whether it be LPGA or the PGA TOUR have done to be successful and he brings that extra little bit of added knowledge. He brings that comfort to me on the golf course that we’re always going to make sure we’re trying to do the right things.
And I think I’ve always said I needed a caddie who is really thick-skinned and has a great sense of humour because I like to bust chops he does the same thing, gives it back to me. So Fooch has been a tremendous asset. He was that missing puzzle piece for the team and I felt that we needed. And it just goes to show you how important he’s been to have the victories we’ve had in the last 15 months.
Note: A seven-time PGA TOUR winner, Billy Horschel is also the 2014 FedExCup champion and you can watch him and the PGA TOUR on Eurosport and GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR.