Golf News

A year after disastrous 84, Billy Horschel back on track

2023 Memorial Tournament

DUBLIN, Ohio — Never in my 40 years in the sports writing business has an athlete thanked me for making him cry.

Until Thursday, that is.

One year ago at the Memorial Tournament, PGA Tour player Billy Horschel entered the media interview area looking like the homeless guy I hand granola bars to at the bottom of the I-70 and Broad Street exit ramp. Horschel wasn’t holding a cardboard sign, but still looked sadly spent.

Horschel won the Memorial in 2022. He showed up in 2023 wanting to shoot a respectable score as the defending champion, but also knowing his swing was not to be trusted. Indeed, the Floridian went out and shot 84, his 12-over-par entering the Memorial record book as the highest opening round by a defending champion. When the day ended, he was 118th out of 119 golfers.

No wonder he looked like a baggie tossed into the ocean when he stepped in front of the media room microphone.

The media session began with awkward silence as Horschel pulled his hat over his face, trying to compose himself. How to open with an ice-breaker when the subject of the interview fell through the ice?

2023 Memorial Tournament

Billy Horschell watches his tee shot on the second tee during the opening round of the 2023 Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. (Photo: Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch)

Seconds felt like minutes. Finally, I asked, “Is this a day you just hug your kids and move on?”

That did it. Horschel teared up.

“It’s tough right now,” he said.

Fast forward to Thursday’s opening round of the Memorial, when the 37-year-old Horschel shot a 3-under-par 69 that put him three shots off the lead after 18 holes.

What a difference a year makes. What a difference a disaster makes. What a difference addressing it honestly makes.

“If that question wasn’t asked, who knows if I had gotten to the point of where I needed to be?” Horschel told me Thursday after his interview session ended.

Let me be clear, someone would have asked the question if I had not. What’s important is how Horschel answered it. Honestly. Vulnerably. Cathartically.

“Sometimes (tour pros) need to be put back in the perspective of seeing what really matters,” Horschel said, his eyes dry this time. “Results are one thing, you have good results and bad results, but it’s more or less you work hard and believe if you do the right thing the results will show.”

And they’re showing. After missing the cut at the Memorial last year, Horschel discovered that the lie angle on his irons…


Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Golfweek…