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September 7, 2014

Billy Horschel


MARK STEVENS: Like to welcome our 2014 BMW champion, Billy Horschel. Billy, you moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup also. A lot of good things happening. Kind of take us through that final round and your thoughts going into next week at the TOUR Championship.

BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, it's great to win this championship. I felt pretty good starting the day off. I had a great warm-up session on the range. I hit a really good drive on No. 1, made birdie. Hit a bad second shot on 2, but came back with another birdie. After that I was sort of on grind mode. Especially when I bogeyed 6. Made a bad swing, probably the worst played hole I played this whole week. Just the way I thought about playing that 6th hole, the par-3. But it wasn't easy today. I surely didn't make it as easy as I would have loved and played as good as I would have like -- like yesterday. But, I think this win means a lot more just because I didn't have -- I wasn't, I didn't have my great stuff, and I was able to grind something out and get a victory at the end of the day.

MARK STEVENS: Okay. Questions?

Q. Was wondering, what club you were hitting on the 18th fairway? What was going through your mind and also, not to embarrass you, I think that sprint up there was to get a little relief, but I just wanted to it make sure.
BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, we couldn't have a better number. Just hit a nice full 9-iron. And we knew we had plenty of green. We knew we had plenty of club to get at least past pin high. We knew it was going to spin back. All we were like, just get the ball on the green. We knew Bubba missed his birdie putt, so we knew we had a two-shot lead. So that was huge. So, yeah I mean it was just a perfect 9-iron. I think adjusted, it was probably like 151 to the hole maybe, something like that. And then obviously, I'm sure the whole world saw me sprint, but I had to go to the bathroom, and I had been holding it for way too many holes and I just felt like, you know, I can sort of relax now, and let's just go ahead and go to the bathroom before I can't go.

Q. I know that we kind of beat you up with this all week long, about the last shot at the Deutsche Bank. But, just how important was it for you to just come back and win right away after that?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I don't even -- obviously, now when you look back at it it's awesome. But, I didn't even think about it when I won. That never crossed my mind. I'm still not thinking about it. I guess you say it's redemption, but I was coming from behind. I had a one stroke deficit on 18, and I had to hit a good shot and unfortunately, I didn't. I think what I'm more proud about is the way people on Twitter and social media like to comment on that and say that I choked and you're no good, all this. That doesn't affect me, but I just like to stick it to them and it was nice to get that victory and stick it to some of those people that had some negative comments for me on Twitter, and I don't mind it. You want to keep saying negative things to me that just adds fuel to my fire, and I'm just going to stick it to you every time.

MARK STEVENS: I'm sure it was all Georgia fans.

BILLY HORSCHEL: Exactly. (Laughter.)

Q. Through 11 holes, obviously it was a tight race. What were you thinking at that point? Ryan was obviously playing very well and had caught you. And then moving forward, especially when you saw what he did at 13.
BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, I knew Ryan got off to a hot start and with him being my closest competitor to me, I knew that I was going to have to battle him all day. I knew some other guys -- you could just tell by some cheers that some guys were making a run. But, when I got over to No. 12 tee, I took a peak at the leaderboard to see where everyone else was. I knew Ryan and I were tied. Unfortunately, he made bogey there and then unfortunately, hit the shot on 13 and made double. And that sort of gave me some breathing room, finally. Or at least I could breathe a little bit. I was hoping to hit some better shots coming in. I had hit a couple on a few holes. But, it was a grind coming in, and I was just happy to finally to hold on and get a victory, because it wasn't looking good there for awhile with the way some of the guys were playing.

Q. How aware were you of Sergio and Bubba ahead of you, especially in the last three or four holes and did they affect how you played, especially 17?
BILLY HORSCHEL: So, I looked at the leaderboard on 16. And I saw that Sergio, I think, was two back and Bubba was three back. And I liked my chances, obviously. Sergio was the closest to me, and I knew if he birdied 17, I was going to have to probably at least get one birdie just to feel a little more comfortable and have a two-shot lead. I saw that he laid up. Then before I hit my shot, my second shot from the bunker, I saw he chipped it in the water. That sort of gave me a little bit of relief. My caddie and I, we tried to figure out on 17 whether we should have a full wedge shot in there or have a little pitch shot. I want to give him credit, because he told me you got to have a pitch shot in there. I wanted to have a wedge, but controlling the spin on greens, especially with that one having a little bit more tilt, was going to be tougher. So, he's like just get it down there. We had a perfect club, hit a little three quarter 8-iron and couldn't have an easier pitch. Obviously, on Thursday or Friday or Saturday, I probably would have chipped it a lot closer, but with a two-shot lead my only thought was just get it over the water and keep it left of the hole. And at least I did a good job of that.

Q. There was a sense that the second shot last week might linger, or might be difficult to overcome, or that sometimes that it how it is for other players. Why did it not bother you? Why were you able to put it behind you so easily?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I think if the people that know me and the media people and everyone else out here that understand the type of person I am, I don't dwell on things that are bad. It rolls off my shoulder, I got thick skin. I look at the positives. I'm a positive guy. I'm a positive outlook on life guy. So, that wasn't going to affect me at all. Some of the players it could have -- and could have lingered on for them, but I was over it. Within a few minutes after I hit the shot I sort of laughed. It wasn't a big deal to me. It happened. And I knew I was a better player and listen, I mean, things are going to happen in life and in golf. And you just got to -- the sooner you get over it, the sooner you can move on.

Q. You gave a lot of credit this week to Mark Horton. Is there any particular shot or strategy for a hole that came into play today that you can tell us a little bit about?
BILLY HORSCHEL: You know what, I can't tell you exactly, because what -- what we do early in the week, we talk about how to play certain holes and this and that. Then my caddie, Micah, and him get together and talk about certain holes early in the round before I go off. Something that I don't do. I did early in the year, but it affected the way I played holes, so I rely on Micah to tell me certain things that I need to know and just to be in the right spot. It's pretty common sense out here where you can't miss it and where you can miss it. Obviously, the spot I missed on 6 was awful, probably the worst spot I missed it all week in 72 holes. But, Mark Horton's been a big help to me this year. Just growing as a player in the sense of course management, understanding my game very well, what I do well, and that is I am a really good ball-striker and I putt really good inside 10 feet. So he's been a big help. Todd Anderson, I've been working with him for what is it? Six or seven years now. I owe him a lot of credit. Same thing with Randy Myers and Jeff Fronk, my trainers that I use. Everyone who is around me, they know who they are. That this win means as much as it means for me -- it means just as much for them, because they know that they have put in a lot of time with me to get me to where I am.

Q. What was that club on 6 and what was your mindset? What was going through your head as the three stroke lead from overnight had evaporated by the 7th hole?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I wasn't too worried about the three stroke lead. That's why you have a three stroke lead, so you can have a little bit of wiggle room. Obviously, I wasn't playing well, and I was just sort of trying to grind out some pars. Probably it would have been a different factor the way I would have played the last couple holes or the way I would have thought. Especially if Ryan would have went -- didn't go bogey, double bogey on 12 and 13. I would have probably been a little bit more aggressive and not -- be a little bit more cautious and just make some pars. So, three stroke lead, didn't bother me that it evaporated. I knew people were going to come after me. My whole goal was just to try not to drop any shots today and unfortunately, I think I dropped two which ticks me off a little bit, but something I can improve on for next week.

MARK STEVENS: For the record, caddie's last name is Fugitt.

Q. Can you put into perspective what this means to you career-wise? Obviously, your second TOUR win and big one in the playoffs.
BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, it means a lot to win, especially an event in the FedExCup playoffs, because it's amplified 10 times, really. You understand what a victory here does going down the road, especially to Atlanta. You get that much closer to winning the FedExCup and 10 million dollars. So that's one way to look at it. The other way is it's just another notch in the belt of moving forward and hopefully, another step towards something bigger and greater down the road. I don't know how long I'm going to play. I've talked to people that, I would love to play no more than to 40, 45 and then be done with my career. So when you look at that, I got 12 to 17 years of great golf that I want to play, and then I can just go hang up the clubs and spend time with my family. So, getting a second win, two wins in the last two years is a lot. Not many guys do that. Hopefully this win will give me some more added confidence and shoot me up there into an upper echelon player is where I want to be. I want to be where the Rory McIlroys are, the Tigers are, the Phil Mickelsons, the Bubba Watsons, the guys that are winning Majors. I want to be there with them. I want to compete with them on a Sunday at a Major Championship, go head to head with them and have a chance to win Majors. So, that's what I'm looking forward to. I want to be in the final group, or near the lead, on every tournament on Sunday to have a chance to win. That's the only way you learn to get better and hopefully, I can keep knocking out victories.

Q. Is it a shame the captains picks weren't a week later?
BILLY HORSCHEL: No, I'm sure Tom Watson is -- he's not kicking himself for not picking me, I can guarantee you that. I'm sure he's going to kick me because I didn't play better sooner. I've done a lot of stuff this last year and a half where our paths have crossed, especially with Ralph Lauren being our apparel, who we wear. So, I know we have talked a few times, and we played together at Augusta. I'm sure he would have loved for me to play like this a couple months ago. But, the only person you can blame is myself. I didn't play well enough. I'm not disappointed I didn't get picked. I didn't earn a pick. If I would have got picked, it would have been sort of feel like man, I didn't deserve this, I didn't -- I shouldn't be on this team. But there's no big deal. The U.S. team's very strong. They're going to do very well over there in Scotland and listen, there's still plenty of more Ryder Cups in my future. I'm not going to dwell on not getting picked on this one.

Q. Given how you've played these last two weeks and obviously, where you stand in the top-5 in the standings, you got to like your chances of winning the FedExCup, don't you?
BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, I like my chances. I would be, if I was a betting man, I would put some money on me. It's going to be great. I played well last week, last year at East Lake, I don't know, maybe Top-10 something like that. I feel like the course sets up really well for me. I've got Todd Anderson coming in to work with me early in the week just to clean up a couple things that I feel like I need to clean up. My perfectionist side tends to show, come out, and I want to be perfect as often as I can, which doesn't happen, with is very rare. But, yeah, I think it's going to be a great week next week. I'm not going to go ahead and guarantee a victory right now, but I will say that I'm probably going to play very well and, I will have a chance to win on Sunday.

MARK STEVENS: All right thanks for your time. Good luck next week in Atlanta.

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