2014 Tour Championship: Billy Horschel Wins It All


Sep 14, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Billy Horschel stands with the Tour Championship trophy and FedEx Cup after winning the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Horschel hung on down the stretch on Sunday afternoon to win the 2014 Tour Championship, and like his last two predecessors, the FedEx Cup as well. Horschel started his day tied with world number one, Rory McIlroy, and ended his day battling 2010 FedEx Cup champion, Jim Furyk over the tournament, and the FedEx Cup. A gut-check 30 foot par putt at the 16th hole gave the 27 year-old Floridian his second win in as many weeks, and a huge payday.

The great putt at 16 should have not come as a surprise to anyone. The putter carried Horschel throughout the playoffs including at Cherry Hills last Sunday when he didn’t have his A Game during the final round. The former Florida Gator made some huge putts down the stretch, many like the one on 16 at East Lake which was to save par.

"“It’s surreal, it really is,” Horschel said on a Sunday evening so jam-packed with ceremonies and interviews that he hadn’t even had a chance to call his very pregnant wife Brittany, who was back at their home in Florida. “It hits me a little bit, and it still doesn’t hit me. …“The Playoffs are the biggest, besides the majors, are the four biggest events we have on the PGA TOUR. And that’s where the light shines the brightest and I was able to rise to the occasion and get the job done.”"

Recognition and a lot of money comes from winning the FedEx Cup, greatness comes from winning major championships.

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With that being said, I can’t wait for the new season to begin, and a chance to see if Billy Horschel can ride this achievement to a great career that includes some major championships. He certainly has the game, and putting stroke to take on Augusta next year. Now he has the confidence in his arsenal to go out next year and get the job done.

With some luck, we will see Billy Horschel paired with Rory McIlroy on the back nine at Augusta with both coming down the stretch with a chance to win, and something to prove.

Jim Furyk came close again, but has not won a tournament since the 2010 Tour Championship when he pocketed all the money. The 44 year-old Furyk has played as well as anyone on the PGA Tour this year, but just couldn’t crack the winners circle.

Like most people, I expected to see Rory McIlroy make a run during the playoffs, but it never really came. Fatigue had to be a factor for the four-time major champion as he attempted to make the big payday on the PGA Tour.

When Rory four-putted the same hole on consecutive days at Cherry Hills, you could tell he was worn out, and his lack of enthusiasm during the playoffs you could tell he wasn’t 100%.

He admitted in an interview, that if he had to do it over again, he would have taken a week off somewhere so he could re-charge his batteries. He said that he didn’t want see his clubs until he gets to Gleneagles in two weeks.

My brother-in-law, and myself played in a University of Florida Alumni golf tournament back in 2009 at the Suntree Golf Course in Melbourne, Florida. I tell you this because one of the participants that day was a youngster named Billy Horschel. The Alumni tournament is an annual fund-raiser, and ever since that day, we have followed the youngster from just down the road in Grant.