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April 21, 2015

Billy Horschel


JOHN BUSH:  Can I get your comments on being back in New Orleans?
BILLY HORSCHEL:  It's one of my favorite cities to come to.  The people that live here, the friends I've made over the years, it really feels like a second home to me.  I just have a sense of excitement and enjoyment coming to the city every time.
With Zurich being a sponsor, they do an unbelievable job, everyone that's a part of it.  It's one of those events that when you get closer and closer to it, I really start getting excited and I can't wait to get back here.

Q.  Talk a little about your season up to this point?
BILLY HORSCHEL:  Yeah, it's funny, the season hasn't gone the way I would have liked.  Maybe a touch better than last year, but the results haven't been there, but I feel like I'm playing some pretty good golf.  I just haven't been getting a lot out of it.  I haven't been making some putts and wasting shots here and there.  So when you're not making anything and you're wasting some shots, it sort of kills the round of golf.
But I feel like my game is really close.  I feel like if I get some putts to fall, I feel like I'm going to start playing some great golf.  I've been doing some good work the last couple weeks, Todd Anderson and I, and I feel, like I said, it's not far off.  I just need to see something go in the hole, and if that happens, I think it's going to be some pretty special golf ahead.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
BILLY HORSCHEL:  Yeah, it's a lot of confidence.  I'm a confident guy, always have been.  But you can only‑‑ your confidence that you have in yourself can only take you so far.  I feel like you need to see some stuff happen on the golf course to build even more confidence in your game.  You need some stuff to go your way.  That year the hole was really big.  I came in making a lot of putts, and last year it wasn't that way.
This year I've actually been putting halfway decent.  I just haven't been making a lot of putts.  I've only been making three or four birdies a round on average, and that's not bad, but there is not that one or two rounds where I'm making six, seven, eight birdies a round like I did when I won here.  So I feel like, like I said, it's not far off.  If I can see some putts go in early in the week, I think that's going to build my confidence.
I think we've been working on speed last week too.  I've been hitting my putts a little too hard over time, and we're trying to get the speed of the way the ball is rolling so it gives the ball a little bit better chance of going in the hole and making the holes a little bit bigger.

Q.  I hope I didn't jinx you, but I actually predicted that you would be one of the major contenders at The Masters.  The reason why I say that is you've had so few multiple winners this year on the TOUR.  Also the younger Americans have played fairly well like yourself and Reed and Spieth.  Can you talk about that and how important that is for you younger Americans to have success on the PGA TOUR?
BILLY HORSCHEL:  I think it's huge.  We were looked at as the next guys to carry this game of golf, and that's a big honor to have.  But to be able to carry the game of golf, you've got to be a winner.  No one is going to carry the game of golf if you finish Top 10 every week but you don't win.  It doesn't matter who you are.
You're not going to carry this game of golf or be getting more fans.  You've got to be winning.  People like to root for winners.  People like to see someone dominate the game or at least do something special in the game of golf and to do something special, you have to win.
What Jordan did at The Masters, he's taking that next step as being a very dominant player.  Obviously, he's No. 2 in the world.  He's an unbelievably good guy, and what he's done in the game of golf at the age of 21 is pretty impressive.  I think very highly of him, and I think he's going to be great for this game of golf.
Hopefully, you know the way he is, he's a good kid, everybody's going to root for him.  He's not going to do anything bad or this and that.  He does everything the right way, and that's hopefully something that kids and all fans can look up to.

Q.  Speaking of dominating.  Last year at the FedExCup, that's what you did in the playoffs here.  What clicked for you all of a sudden?
BILLY HORSCHEL:  Yeah, it's the putting.  It's funny how my game lives and dies by my putting.  I'm such a really good ball striker.  My short game has gotten a lot better.  Maybe stats may not show it right now, but my short game has gotten a lot better.  The putting just comes and goes in waves.  It's just like anybody.  I feel like I'm a good putter.
I'm top 50 or maybe something like that in putting this year, which isn't too bad.  But being such a good ball striker, when I'm really confident with my putting and I see a lot of putts go in the hole, I seem to make a lot of birdies and not make a lot of mistakes.  I have a lot of opportunities from 10 to 20 feet every round.  I just don't make‑‑ I probably am a little greedy in the sense I feel like I should make every one of them.  But I need to at least make two or three of those a round if I'm having five, six, seven opportunities from 10 to 20 feet.
But it's just the putting.  I felt really good with my putter.  We switched the grip up a little bit.  We worked on speed and what we're going back to a little bit.  I sort of got away from that, and I just started making a lot more putts and I became confident.  I felt like I could make it from anywhere on the green, and that is a great feeling to have.

Q.  Could you relive the experience of winning the FedExCup?  Obviously, that was the pinnacle of your career.  But what was it like that last day at TPC at the championship?
BILLY HORSCHEL:  Yeah, I can't tell you the feelings I had walking up 18 because I don't remember.  I sort of good things that have happened to me I sort of embrace it in that moment and a couple days after and I can't remember what it's like because I'm on to the next big thing.  I don't want to become complacent.
But the thing I do remember the most is waking up that morning and having a sense of ease, a sense of relief going into the final round.  I felt like no matter what happened that day, it was going to be a great day of golf.  At the same time, I knew I was going to win.  I just felt like I wasn't anxious.  I wasn't nervous.  I wasn't moving fast.  It just felt like I was in this bubble, this surreal, different place where everything just felt like there was no worries in the world.  Everything was going to be okay, and it doesn't matter what happened today, everything was going to turn out okay.

Q.  Then the next week was the Ryder Cup.  How disappointing was that?  It's all set up, so you knew that wasn't going to happen.  But to see and watch the Ryder Cup and know, man, I'm playing great right now and I could really help America.  Was that kind of disappointing for you?
BILLY HORSCHEL:  You know, I think any American wants to play on any team that they can represent their country on, and I was no different than anybody else that didn't make that team.  It was disappointing to sit at home and watch the Ryder Cup and see that we got our butts handed to us.  That's never fun to watch anything like that if you're American.
Was I disappointed?  You know, I didn't play well enough to make the team.  There are obviously guidelines that were set, and I knew what the guidelines were, and I didn't make the team.  So I was home enjoying life, enjoying my new little baby girl, Skylar, and it was done and over with.  I was never upset.  I wasn't upset that I wasn't on the team.  I was upset that I wasn't there helping.

Q.  One thing, it seems to be a good mix of young players coming up after you, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas who I know a lot of people don't know about yet.  Maybe in 2016 do you think our Ryder Cup team will have a different look to it and different feel to it with Patrick Reed and you guys making the team?
BILLY HORSCHEL:  It possibly could be.  Who knows.  But I think it would be great to have younger guys on the team, get some new blood on there.  But it's going to be tough to say that the younger guys will make the team, because I think what is such a vital key is being in all the majors and being in all the WCs where I'm not sure how the point system works.  Maybe those are weighted a little more.  I know the majors are.  I'm not sure about the WCs, but those are small field events with big money on the line.
It's going to be interesting to see what that team will look like in 2016.  Hopefully we have some younger guys on the team, but I still think the guys that have been on the team for the last 10, 15 years can get the job done.  I just think it hasn't happened.
I look up to Jim Furyk a lot.  He's been on a lot of teams and obviously his record is not that great, and people may want to criticize him for that.  I think he's a great player.  I just think the European team has just had the upper hand.  They've been making all the putts.  Who knows.  We'll see how the team turns out, but hopefully whatever the players or whoever is on the team brings home the cup.  That's all that really matters.

Q.  I don't know if you're trying to be diplomatic here, but any thoughts on whether there should be changes in how players are selected for the Ryder Cup?  Maybe more captains choices?  And secondly, what's that say about the TOUR that you've only had two winners that have won more than once on the TOUR this year?  Does that speak to the competitiveness, to the quality, the depth on the TOUR this year?
BILLY HORSCHEL:  The first question about the Ryder Cup and the selection.  I know they changed the selection process and people want to say they changed it because of what I did last year.  That could be one of the reasons why.  Maybe the selection process needed change because what had been in place for so long didn't seem to be working anymore, so I think it needed to be changed a little bit.
Should there be more captain's picks?  I don't know.  I know one of my buddies said the captain should pick 12 players.  No one should be guaranteed a spot.  There should be 12 captain's picks and that's the way it should be.  I think that's a little funny, but maybe six captain's picks and six guaranteed, depending on how you play.  Then second question was about?
Oh, multiple winners.  The game is getting more competitive, there is no doubt about that.  There are more players week‑in and week‑out that can win, but I think it's a matter of time until you get some players to duplicate wins and everything.  Hopefully, maybe the next three weeks I can have multiple wins already this season and add my name to that list.
But everyone makes a big deal about that we don't have someone winning three, four, five tournaments this year or at least several guys winning multiple times.  But I just think it's that tough to win.  You know, it's an ebb and flow thing.  You're going to have years where you're going to have many multiple winners and a couple guys that win a lot of times.  Then you're going to have years where you have maybe one or two multiple winners.  It's just the way things go in life.  It's not that big of a deal.

Q.  The Zurich Classic is popular for crowning first time winners.  If you don't win this week, who is the first time winner that you think is going to take it?
BILLY HORSCHEL:  Man, hopefully I'm holding that trophy again.  I feel pretty good about it.  But if I'm not the victor, who do I think?  I'm thinking I'm going to go with somebody who has been playing really well and it was mentioned earlier, Justin Thomas.  That kid is really good.  I think he's been playing really well.  I think it's just a matter of time before he learns what it takes to win.
Obviously, he's won a lot as a junior and college golfer, but it's a learning process out here on the PGA TOUR, to learn how to win.  Sometimes you think you've got to make a lot of birdies, and understand that par is actually a really good score on Sundays because there are a lot of guys trying to make something happen, and they're making mistakes and falling off the lead.  You know, sometimes par is a lot more than birdies.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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