Weekday Analyst: My thoughts on Billy Horschel 

Billy Horschel made his presence known in 2013 and 2014, capping it off as 2014’s FedEx Points Champion. Despite being the hottest player on tour around 2014’s Ryder Cup, Horschel wasn’t picked. The Americans lost and Horschel became featured prominently in golf talk and on golf television with his flashy look and outgoing nature.

One of Horschel’s 1st notable outbursts came during the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay about the greens’ conditions and said he “lost a little respect for the USGA”. Albiet extreme, many players and golf enthusiasts didn’t enjoy the greens, at all.

Horschel hasn’t played well since his late 2014 run and fell to 75th in the Official World Golf Rankings as of April 19, 2017, but that hasn’t let him stop from giving opinions lately on tour, notably about the WGC-Mexico and this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. 

He felt uncomfortable about WGC-Mexico’s safety/security concerns, citing he wouldn’t play in the event. However, Billy needed not to worry since he didn’t qualify for the tournament, unless 20 golfers dropped out.

Horschel continued controversy before the Arnold Palmer Invitational, citing more top golfers should play and considered it disrespectful if not. This topic caught headlines leading to the tournament but it was, in fact, the most star-studded API post-Tiger. Also, all top golfers take breaks in their schedules during the Spring Swing, with another WGC event right after Arnie’s Tourney, and importantly, The Masters

The Honorary First Tee at the 2017 Masters was the pinnacle of Arnold Palmer’s appreciation and attended by top golfers and golf legends. Dustin Johnson would’ve withdrawn and perhaps left Augusta except the First Tee was his opportunity to express thanks to golf’s People’s Champ at golf’s “Mecca”.

Billy Horschel did not qualify for this year’s Masters.

Hopefully, Mr.Horschel cherished his time and showed the respect he intended at the 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational. He is a Florida native and plays well at Bay Hill, along with The Honda Classic. Unfortunately, his game hasn’t backed up his social media talk, missing his last 2 cuts, and finished outside the top 50 in his last ten tournaments. 

I enjoyed watching Horschel on Golf Channel, talking about trends and expressing opinions about golf and the world in general but somewhere along the line, lost focus on the results. He values his opinions but in 2 1/2 years since winning the 2014 FedEx Cup, his OWGR went from 14th to 76th.

That’s not opinion. That’s fact.

Billy Horschel did see success this PGA Tour season, losing in a playoff during the wrap-around season and finishing t-4th at The Honda Classic but his missed cut at the Valero Texas Open was disappointing, considering he finished t-4th there in 2016. 

It is possible to think Horschel’s career since 2014 has been disappointing, having not made the 2015 USA Presidents Cup team after winning the previous year’s FedEx Cup, and being behind guys like Siwoo Kim, Joost Luiten, K.T. Kim, and Pat Perez in the Official World Golf Rankings. 

Horschel gets by with his personality and fashion. That’s fine for now but another guy with such demeanor recently lost his PGA Tour card. Ian Poulter ring a bell?

Looking to improve his rankings, Horschel plays in the 2-man Zurich Classic, a course he’s had success at. To improve in the standings, Horschel’s partner must improve his play dramatically. Matt Every, a former 2014 and 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational Champton and Florida Gator alumni, has made only 3 cuts since missing the cut at Arnie’s Tourney in 2016. 

Just maybe, these two can string a victory together but unlikely, considering their play. On a personal note, Every handed me an autographed golf glove of his after his round at the 2010 Transitions Championship, now called the Valspar Championship. I now follow his play each week, hoping for a good showing. If anyone can get Billy Horschel back on track, it is fellow Gator Matt Every, and vice versa. If not, no doubt they will have fun in New Orleans. Gator Blood is thicker than water.

Good luck this week Matt. 

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