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March 13, 2020

Billy Horschel

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

BILLY HORSCHEL: It's just a sad day. It was a sad night last night. I mean, it's a sad day in the sports world yesterday, and then waking up to that, a sad day in the world in general. When we have situations like this, everyone can rely on sports to sort of take their mind off the tragedy at hand or the situation at hand in the world, and right now we don't have that. It's just very sad.

I think one thing that has been mentioned, with the cancellation of this event, the cancellation of other events going forward, so far, at least in the world of golf, there's a lot of charities and organizations that rely on these events, rely on the charitable dollars to survive and to support the needs of children and their causes that they're formed on. And right now I'm curious how they're going to survive this next year, if we're going to do something, if someone is going to step up and help out these great charities and organizations that we help out on a weekly basis.

Just a very sad day, a very sad moment. It was the right decision. I thought it was the right decision to play. But just like anything in the world, circumstances change and things evolve, and I think Jay and everyone at the TOUR did an unbelievable job. I support them through and through in the decision that they made. And right now we just need to figure out a way to best take care of this situation where we can get back to normal-day life, and I think that's what everyone wants to do right now.

Q. Do you feel like you guys could have been the only thing worth watching?
BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, correct. I was fine playing with no fans. I think people obviously have a initial reaction to everything, and unfortunately people weren't privy to the information that Jay and our tournament staff and officials at the PGA TOUR -- I mean, I'm not going to get into what was told to us, but they're not going to make a decision without feeling support from people above them, people in government, people in health organizations. So if they're getting the okay from them, then I was fine with it. But obviously certain circumstances changed, and I think it was just the right decision, what Jay made, to just cancel this event and cancel the next few weeks until we get a better, clearer handle on the situation at hand.

Q. What do you think changed?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I don't know. I can't speak for the TOUR, and I can't speak for the decision. To me, I just think that it gets to a point where the optics -- it doesn't matter what has been relayed to them from, like I say, health officials or the administration or anything like that. I just think optics may have won out and it just didn't look good compared to what all these other sports organizations were doing, and I'm fine with it. That's fine. If that's one of the reasons why we decided to just do the -- look out for player safety and volunteers and fans and everyone else involved in the tournaments, then I'm cool with that.

Q. What do you do now when your next tournament start is uncertain?
BILLY HORSCHEL: That's the crazy situation that I think all of us are in. I mean, we're off for three weeks. And I don't think anyone has ever been in this situation unless we've had an injury, not knowing when we're going to play again. I don't know, when do we start back up? When is it okay to start back up? There's so many answers that need to be answered right now, and there's no answers to that, and no one can say, Hey, we're good to go play golf again or Hey, the other sports are good to go start their seasons back up. I'm not sure when that's going to happen or how that's going to happen or who takes the first step into that arena. But there will be -- right now I'm just going to enjoy my kids the next two weeks, try and live life like it's a normal day and nothing is different except I'm not playing golf. I mean, I understand this is a very deadly disease. There's people dying. It's very contagious. I mean, the flu is very contagious. People die from the flu. People die from car accidents. This is just something we've got to live life at, and right now I'm sure everyone is trying to figure out how we're going to live life with the coronavirus and eradicate it going forward.

The World Health Organization, administration, health officials will all figure it out. And hopefully in the next few weeks we'll have a better answer. I woke up this morning feeling a little better that I think in the next few weeks we'll have a better handle on the situation. You look across the world, I think China and South Korea has really took control of their situation. And I think the U.S. is able to do a good job of that, as well.

Q. (Indiscernible).
BILLY HORSCHEL: I mean, the thing that I first think about with Augusta is that there's international players. And now that we're not playing golf for the next three, four weeks, the international players that would be in the event, that would more or less be staying in the States until Augusta, are now going back to Europe, going back to the UK, going back to Asia. And obviously we already have a travel ban from Europe, so they're in a tough situation. I mean, just looking at it right now, it would be tough for Augusta to have the event unless some situation changes in the next couple weeks.

I do think in three weeks we could have a better handle on it and it could be played, but how do we get all the players in the field back to Augusta for the Masters? They've got a tough situation. Are they going to make it in the next few days? Are they going to wait maybe another week to see if things change even more? They're in a tough situation. We're all in a tough situation. When do we start playing golf again is another situation.

It's a very tough deal, and these are not decisions that are taken lightly, and you've just got to do what's best right now in the sense of everyone involved.

Q. Was there any part of you that was uneasy about playing yesterday or if they had continued to play?
BILLY HORSCHEL: No, I'm not uneasy about playing yesterday or even if we had continued to play. We had no fans coming out the next three days, which was disappointing. My family was going to be the only ones out. But I was not too worried about it. I understand that this virus is very contagious, more contagious than the flu. It seems to have a -- death rate seems to be more of 70 to 80 years old and respiratory issues, so that's the tough thing is that knowing I could be carrying and giving it to someone -- my dad is 68 this year and my mom is 65 or 66, so my parents are close to that age range or in healthy situation. But my wife's grandparents are in their early 80s and they're in fairly good health, but just being around them not knowing I have it, not knowing my kids have it, that's a tough situation.

I was fine playing with no fans. But it's just really tough to play golf and worry about, do I have this virus, without being tested.

I think the sooner people can get tested if they're a little worried about it, the better. But at the same time there's more people that need to be tested who do feel sick. We do need to get more tests out and get more supplies so that people can get tested, who need to be tested can get tested.

Q. Are you going to get tested?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I am looking at it, yeah. I feel healthy and I feel fine, but like I said, I don't want to be around my parents, my wife's grandparents if I may be having the virus. People my age, if we get it, from what I've read and from what I've heard, it's a very mild reaction. So I could think it's just a little cold and it's actually the coronavirus. So I will be looking at getting tested and my entire family getting tested. But for the time being right now, we'll worry about that in a few days.

Q. Do you know about your role in the Feeding Northeast Florida part, what they might do with this, how that will work in the next few days?
BILLY HORSCHEL: So I'm not entirely aware of everything, but I do know that the food that is going to be here, we're going to be loading up on Feeding Northeast Florida food trucks. It's really great that the TOUR and the staff of THE PLAYERS Championship is doing this. It's our local food bank. We feed a lot of people in the northeast Florida community. It's how they survive. They survive based on dollars from this event raised, the charitable dollars and food being donated. All I can ask is for my northeast community that -- understand that one dollar equals six meals for Feeding Northeast Florida. There's a lot of people that are food-insecure. The money that I got from this event I'm going to donate entirely to a couple organizations, Feeding Northeast Florida being one of them.

I said this earlier, that these events after -- there's a lot of charities and organizations that rely on the economic impact and the dollars raised by the tournament to support their charities and organizations for the entire year, and now they're not going to have that, and I'm hoping something changes and we figure out a way to do that.

I can ask my fellow TOUR players -- and I understand everyone is different in this situation, but that the money that they got paid this week, that they donate some way, whether it's to the next week's, next few weeks' charities and organizations or to the charities around where they live, because they're going to need it, as well.

That's what I'm going to do. Hopefully my fellow TOUR players understand the situation and do something, as well, but I'm not going to -- I'm not forcing them to do anything. Hopefully they do what they feel like is right.

Q. How do you spend the next few weeks?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I've got to keep the game sharp. I don't know when we're going to play again.

Q. (Indiscernible).
BILLY HORSCHEL: In 2009 after I graduated, we had been looking for a charity organization to get behind, and we had just had our first child, Skylar, our daughter, and my manager, Sherry, was really good friends with Charley Moore on the board, I believe, with Feeding Northeast Florida. And he said, Hey, I think this would be a great organization for Billy and Brittany to possibly get involved in. We learned about it, we went and toured the facility and thought, this would be great.

We understand that -- to see how many individuals in our community are food-insecure, and when people hear that, they think just homeless and local food bank. It's really not. There's a lot of people that are working two, three jobs and can't make ends meet, and at the end of the day when that happens, food is the last thing on the burner to be dealt with. They're helping thousands of individuals in our community, and we've been very fortunate enough to be involved with that. I've been very fortunate enough to help raise money. I've donated a lot of my own money to help them meet their goal of making our food -- making our community food-secure, and we're getting closer. We are. The players have been so great over the last few years of being one of the key charities, and I think last year they were the key charity for THE PLAYERS Championship. It's just tough because it's a lot of dollars from this event goes to Feeding Northeast Florida and now they're not going to have it. But it's great that Jay and the staff are going to donate the majority of the food from this event to Feeding Northeast Florida to help with feeding our community.

Q. Did he talk to you about that beforehand?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I was made aware of it talking to some individuals. And I said, Well, great, I would love to come down to hear the commissioner speak. And I wasn't expecting him to single me out, but it's really great. Jay and his staff and the TOUR do an unbelievable job in so many areas, and they always do great decision making. And I think what they've done here, it's a tough decision to cancel this event and cancel events after this, but it's the right decision.

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