Horschel Savors First PGA Tournament Victory
By Golf // April 29, 2013
Bayside High School Graduate
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Former Bayside High School golf phenom Billy Horschel has finally arrived on the PGA Tour and as a result is savoring his first professional win this morning.
Horschel captured the Zurich Classic in New Orleans on Sunday by tying the course record with a final score of 8-under 64 and holing a 26-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to clinch the win.
“Unbelievable,” Horschel said. “You can’t ask for anything else.”
Horschel, 26, was a regular fixture in thet state tournament when he competed for Bayside and then went on to an outstanding college career playing for the Florida Gators.
But his pro career has been sidelined by injuries and disappointment until his breakthrough win on Sunday.
“This is something that I’ve wanted since I’ve turned pro,” Horschel said. “You know, I’ve had some injuries that hurt me and then I had to deal with my emotions a little bit better, so to finally get the first victory means a lot to me.”
AMONG MOST DOMINANT PLAYERS
He had entered the tournament in New Orleans as one of the most dominant players after recording top 10 finishes in his last three PGA tournaments and was the highest ranked player in the FedExCup points rankings at No. 14.
Horschel began Sunday’s final round at 12 under par, just two shots behind leader Lucas Glover.
Playing through two rain delays, Horschel gathered his composure and came out and tore up the course with six straight birdies. Then on hole 18, he dropped in his ninth birdie of the day to clinch the win.
EARNED $1.188 Million
So now all has changed for Horschel on the PGA tour.
“Bill kept his composure through a pair of weather delays,” said Bobby Walker, editor and publisher of Space Coast Golf magazine.
“Billy, who started the final round two shots back of the lead finished at 20 under, and sensed the time had come for him to win his first PGA Tour event.”
At Bay Hill, Walker had the pleasure of walking a few holes with Billy’s dad and they talked about how he couldn’t get the ball in the hole. He had several birdie opportunities but he just couldn’t find the bottom of the cup.
“I’d say Billy knew what he had to do…make some putts…and he did,” said Walker.
“With birdies on 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 Billy rolled in a long victory putt on the 18th and, almost before the ball sunk to the bottom of the cup, came the victorious yell and fist pump before he sunk to his knees and pulled his cap over his face.”
For the victory, he earned $1.188 million and also won a two-year playing exemption for the PGA Tour and captured invitations to the 2014 Masters Tournament and to the Players Championship.