• Amateur Spotlight: Horschel Grows Into Game

  • On your U.S. Amateur bio, under superstitions, you listed carrying four tees and a 1986 quarter in your pocket. Explain.

    Billy Horschel: It's no longer an '86. It's actually '36, because I actually lost the 1986 quarter and haven't found one since. I carry four tees in my right pocket and my glove in my left pocket. One thing I hate the most is when a golfer has like 25 tees in his pocket and one ball mark, and spends like five minutes searching for that marker. You're like, 'Come on, man.'

    If I break one, I go right to my bag and replace it.

    What does Billy Horschel eat for breakfast?

    Horschel: Could be anything. If I'm on the go, I'll stop by this little gas station near my place and get like a 20-ounce Gatorade and some Pop Tarts (preferably strawberry, blueberry) and head off to class.

    Something about yourself that would make people go, "Hmmm."

    Horschel: People might be surprised to know I'm a softie. I'm emotional, that goes without saying, but my girlfriend says to me a lot that people think I'm this hard-nosed person, when actually I am this soft-sided person when it comes down to it.

    Last golf-related book you read?

    Horschel: Buddy (Alexander, the University of Florida golf coach) made us read "Fearless Golf." [The book was written by Dr. Gio Valiante, who serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the Gators in the area of psychological performance.]

    Closest brush with greatness?

    Horschel: Tiger Woods. I played the '06 Open at Winged Foot and it was Tuesday morning in the parking lot. Attendants were telling me where to park and when I turned the corner, I looked up and they had me parking right next to Tiger. I said, 'Wow, there's Stevie (Williams, Woods' caddie).' Next thing, I see Tiger getting out of the car. So I hit the gas a little, parked the car and hopped out. I was walking to the back of the car and I just said, 'Hey, how you doing Tiger?'

    The next day I got there before him, when he pulled in beside me. Once again, I just said hello. Then we were leaving the course at the same time later that day, and I was walking a little bit ahead of him. I turned and said, 'Man, you're following me everywhere.' He sort of chuckled.

    Most nervous you have ever been on a golf course?

    Horschel: The first tee shot of the Walker Cup. I had to hit the first tee shot for our team and the entire Walker Cup. That was kind of nerve-wracking. I was nervous three days before.

    You've got 10,000, 15,000 people surrounding the tee box and I'm just telling myself it's just another tee shot. Hit it left, hit it right, no whoop-dee-do, it's just another tee shot.


    Horschel: I'm A Soft-Sided Person

    March 20, 2008


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