Billy Horschel, a 27-year-old professional golfer from Grant, first played on the PGA Tour in 2010. His only win came in New Orleans at 2013’s Zurich Classic. Horschel tied for fourth at the US Open and sixth in FedEx Cup that same year. He has 12 top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour. Horschel is currently ranked 59th in the world.
CBS Local Sports sat down with Horschel to chat about his golf game and his experiences on the course.
CBS Local Sports: How would you define your style? And your overall course-playing style?
Horschel: My style fashion-wise I would say is a little bit unique. I’m not afraid to wear some bright colors. Obviously I wore so octopus pants last year in the 2013 US Open that caught quite a bit of attention. So yeah I’m not afraid to wear something that’s a little unusual but still plays a lot on tradition. And then my course playing style, I would say I’m aggressive, but I’m learning to be a little more conservative at times. I feel like I can pull off any shot, it doesn’t matter what the shot is. I’m trying to be a little more conservative on the golf course, but I’m an aggressive person by nature.
CBS Local Sports: What are some must-haves you carry around in your golf bag and why?
Horschel: Couple of the must-haves I have in my golf bag… I always gotta have an orange and blue sharpie, that’s what I use to mark my golf balls with. And then from then on I carry a 1936 quarter that I’ve used for 10 years now. And a divot — a ball divot-repair tool that I’ve used for probably about eight years. So those are a couple must-haves I have. So when I’m on the golf course I feel whole. And then, ’cause everybody has their own little unique things they like eat [on the golf course], one of the things I like to eat is this king made jerky that a caddy out here made a couple years… Well, he’s been making them for a while, but he got into doing it big time about a year, year and a half ago, and it’s just some of the best stuff there is, that I’ve ever had. I used to think that when I ate it I made birdies, and I still do. Last year in 2013 whenever I seemed to have some, I would always seem to get on a little roll of birdies. So I used to call it the birdie jerky.
CBS Local Sports: What’s your favorite club to hit and why?
Horschel: My favorite club to hit is probably my 7-iron, and it’s been that way my whole life. I think the reason is I was born on the seventh. So seven just seems to work for me. I like to hit it as much as possible when I’m practicing and everything. So I wear it out a little bit more than my other clubs. But yeah, that’s my favorite club, my 7-iron.
CBS Local Sports: Do you have any pregame rituals and why?
Horschel: I like to listen to music. Couple pregame rituals I have is I like to listen to music before I play. It’s mostly from the hotel to the golf course. I like to get a little rhythm, some type of beat in my head, something I can sing on the golf course, and to myself. I’m not a great singer so I don’t want anyone to hear it. So that’s just one of the things, just listening to music in the car on the way to the course, and just getting in somewhat of a game mode.
CBS Local Sports: Being one of the top golfers in the world, what do you credit your amazing career and success to?
Horschel: Being one of the top, top golfers, I have to credit a lot of my success to just hard work. I work tirelessly. That’s something I’ve always done, I get it from my parents; they’ve worked their whole lives. Wake up in the morning, come down at sunrise. So my work ethic comes from my parents, and that’s what a lot of my success comes from is a lot of hard work and the time I put into the game.
CBS Local Sports: When and how did you first start playing golf?
Horschel: First time I started playing golf was when I was about two or three. We live on about two and a half acres in Grant, Florida, and my dad and I would go out there and hit golf balls. My younger brother and I would just follow him out there to the back yard, and start whacking at some golf balls. And over time we were good enough that he would take us to the golf course.
CBS Local Sports: What was it like to finish fourth in the 2014 US Open?
Horschel: It was pretty unbelievable. Obviously I had won about a month and a half ago, at Zurich Classic… What it felt like to finish fourth in the 2013 US Open was just unbelievable. I was coming in playing playing pretty well. But to finally do it in a major… We only have four majors here, so those are the biggest tournaments for us. And to do it against top competition on an unbelievably tough golf course, it’s something that I took a lot of pride in. I want to play well in majors, and the US Open being one of the, the one I want to win the most. I knew walking away from that tournament that I had a chance to win, and it just didn’t happen for me that weekend. But I knew that there would be many more opportunities. And hopefully I will be able to win the US Open one day.
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