Billy Horschel is one of the PGA Tours rising stars. He is a young player and appears primed to have a long and successful tour career. Before turning pro, Mr. Horschel was the individual medalist at the 2006 US Amateur shooting an 18-hole and USGA record, a four time All-American at the University of Florida, and member of the 2007 Walker Cup Championship team.
2013 has been a breakout season for the young pro, garnering six top-25s , five top-10s, a third, and second place finish along with his first PGA tour victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. It is only May so there is no telling where Billy, ranked 51st in the word and fourth in Fed Ex Cup standings, will finish 2013.
With all his success Mr. Horschel remains a class individual and a positive role model for the younger generation. He is a testament to what can be achieved with hard work, dedication and a positive attitude.
To say Billy is a busy man lately would be an understatement. If you would like to stay current on what he is doing on and off the course you can always check out his official website or follow him on Twitter. Luckily Mr. Horschel was able to take the time out of his busy schedule to conduct a five point Question and Answer session with me here at Sports Unbiased via email. We touched on his patriotism, how to handle pressure situations, and tips amongst other things. I hope you enjoy the valuable insight from someone who has proven success.Without further ado I present the five part Q&A with Mr. Horschel in its entirety.
Question: I understand you are passionate support of the military. I am a military veteran (medically retired) myself and it warms my heart to hear about the athletes that care. Without direct military service what makes you so passionate about the military?
Answer: My older brother Chris served in the Navy and one of my uncles was in the Vietnam War. Also, my teacher, Todd Anderson’s son, Taylor is currently a Marine! I’m very passionate about the history of America, and understand without the sacrifices that men and women have made, that there would be no United States of America. The men and women who give their lives for their countries are truly amazing. They are truly heroes in my eyes and always will be. Whatever I can do to help support people in the military I am willing to do. I’m hoping to possibly make a trip overseas later this year, or possibly next year, to visit our troops.
Question: What was the point in your life that you realized that you wanted to be a professional golfer and what was the point when you realized that was possible? Any tips for any aspiring tour players?
Answer: I always wanted to be a professional athlete since I was a little kid. I knew baseball or golf was going to be my way. Unfortunately, I broke my elbow playing baseball so I figured that golf was the path. I realized that I could possibly play on the PGA Tour when I played in the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot. I played solid the first round but not so great the second round. Even though I didn’t make the cut, I realized that I had the talent to compete on the PGA Tour. If I kept working hard, I knew I would achieve my dream. My tip would be to work hard, work on 100 yards and in (wedge game and putting) and just believe in yourself!
Question: While you just won your first event at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, you have been a model of consistency on tour with 23 consecutive cuts (number one active streak on tour) made and no worse than a tie for ninth in your last four starts. How can you manage this level of consistently solid play?
Answer: It’s tough to maintain that level of play week in and week out. The best way I am going to try and maintain this level of play is to keep doing the same things I’ve been doing this past month. Keep doing the same drills I do at every tournament and when I’m home. And most of all just keep working hard and believe in myself.
Writers note: I feel like I jinxed Mr. Horschel. Around the time of the interview he missed his first cut at the Players Championship. I feel horrible and yes I believe in some level of superstition. Sorry Billy.
Question: While I was watching and listening on TV I saw you bogey 15 at TPC Louisiana and lose sole control of the top spot. Many players would have stumbled home after that. How were you able to block that out so close to a first victory and birdie two of the final three holes to capture your first title?
Answer: I’ve grown up a lot as a golfer in the last year and I’ve been in contention a hand full of times in the past year as well. I knew the tournament wasn’t over. I had three holes left and I just told myself “Let’s fully commit to every shot coming in.” I thought that if I was able to commit to every shot, I would birdie the last three holes. Got two out of three.
Question: I am a mid-single digit handicap and many of my friends are of various handicap levels. What is one tip (or more) that you can give the average golfer to improve their game?
Answer: The one tip I would give is for every golfer to spend more time on their short game. Work on your wedges from 100 yards and in, chipping and pitching around the green, and putting. Most golfers lost the majority of their shots from 100 yards and in. Work hard on your short game.
I would like to take a moment and personally thank Mr. Horschel for taking the time out of his busy schedule to conduct this Question and Answer session with Sports Unbiased. I wish him continued success on tour and in life. Good things should continue to happen to good people.Remember, as Sam Snead once said, “Forget your opponents; always play against par.”