It didn’t take long for Billy Horschel to make up for his chunked 6-iron into the hazard of the 72nd hole at the Deutsche Bank Championship a week earlier. Horschel shot a final-round one-under 69 at Cherry Hills to capture the BMW Championship, his second career victory, by two shots over Bubba Watson.
“Obviously, now when you look back at it it’s awesome,” said Horschel when asked about the last shot at TPC Boston just six days earlier. “But, I didn’t even think about it when I won. That never crossed my mind. I’m still not thinking about it.
“I guess you say it’s redemption, but I was coming from behind. I had a one stroke deficit on 18, and I had to hit a good shot and unfortunately, I didn’t.”
However, the response Horschel got from social media, saying he “choked’ added fuel to his already fiery demeanor to prove the naysayers wrong.
“I think what I’m more proud about is the way people on Twitter and social media like to comment on that and say that I choked and you’re no good, all this,” said Horschel. “That doesn’t affect me, but I just like to stick it to them and it was nice to get that victory and stick it to some of those people that had some negative comments for me on Twitter, and I don’t mind it.
“You want to keep saying negative things to me that just adds fuel to my fire, and I’m just going to stick it to you every time.”
Horschel didn’t make it easy on himself, per se. He started Sunday with a three-shot lead, which disappeared early in the final round. Ryan Palmer caught up with him after no. 6 and once again on no. 11. Palmer was one back as the final threesome walked up the 13th fairway before disaster occurred, according to the AP:
Palmer was one behind as the final threesome walked down the 13th fairway, with Horschel buried in the right rough and Palmer buried in the left. Horschel hit his second shot safely on the green. Palmer shanked his into a small creek that runs in front of the green. He made double bogey to fall three behind.
“A shank? (Doesn’t happen) very often,” Palmer said. “But I’m doing with the downhill, down in the rough, I’m blaming it on that. But it happens. It’s a fickle game.”
Losing the lead early didn’t impact Horschel negatively, though.
“I wasn’t too worried about the three stroke lead,” said Horschel. “That’s why you have a three stroke lead, so you can have a little bit of wiggle room. Obviously, I wasn’t playing well, and I was just sort of trying to grind out some pars.
“Probably it would have been a different factor the way I would have played the last couple holes or the way I would have thought. Especially if Ryan didn’t go bogey, double bogey on 12 and 13.”
It was a tightly packed leaderboard, with Sergio Garcia making a Sunday run, until he botched the par-5 17th:
That left Sergio Garcia, who cut a seven-shot deficit to two, as the last true threat, but his chance imploded on the par-5 17th — when he laid up, cooked his third shot over the green, then chipped into the water. He made a triple-bogey 8 — sullying a round of 67. He finished at 9 under, tied for fourth with Palmer (71), Rickie Fowler (68) and Jim Furyk (66).
“It’s what happens when you’re not mentally sharp,” Garcia said about the decision not to go for the green in two. “Then, just a mistake after another mistake.”
Horschel now enters the Tour Championship ranked no. 2 in the FedExCup standings — which, I don’t have to tell you, is an ideal place to be headed into the Playoff finale.
“I like my chances,” said Horschel when asked about winning the $10 million bonus at East Lake. “If I was a betting man, I would put some money on me. It’s going to be great. I played well last week, last year at East Lake, I don’t know, maybe Top-10 something like that. I feel like the course sets up really well for me.”
More info about the Tour Championship and FedExCup finale…
- The top 30 players following the BMW Championship qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Prior to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, a points reset will take place, giving all players in the field a mathematical opportunity to win the FedExCup title. The top five players control their own destiny and would claim the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake.
The top five
Getting into the top five in the FedExCup Playoff standings is the goal for players after the BMW Championship is played and the 70-man field has been trimmed to 30. The top five in the standings entering the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola will control their own destiny and will win the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake GC. Here’s a look at the top five following the BMW Championship:
Current top five:
FEC Rank Player BMW
1. Chris Kirk T36
2. Billy Horschel Won
3. Bubba Watson 2nd
4. Rory McIlroy T8
5. Hunter Mahan T59
Moved into the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola following the BMW Championship:
FEC Rank Player
No. 21 Morgan Hoffmann 3
No. 23 Ryan Palmer T4
Dropped out of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola at the BMW Championship:
FEC Rank Player
No. 31 Stuart Appleby T46
No. 33 Keegan Bradley WD
The 29 players headed to East Lake (Dustin Johnson qualified as no. 30 — without playing since before the PGA Championship — but he will not play as he’s on an involuntary leave of absence from the Tour):
- Chris Kirk
- Billy Horschel
- Bubba Watson
- Rory McIlroy
- Hunter Mahan
- Jimmy Walker
- Jim Furyk
- Matt Kuchar
- Rickie Fowler
- Jason Day
- Jordan Spieth
- Adam Scott
- Sergio Garcia
- Martin Kaymer
- Zach Johnson
- Bill Haas
- John Senden
- Patrick Reed
- Cameron Tringale
- Russell Henley
- Morgan Hoffmann
- Webb Simpson
- Ryan Palmer
- Kevin Na
- Geoff Ogilvy
- Justin Rose
- Brendon Todd
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Gary Woodland