September 12, 2021
Virginia Water, Surrey, England
Wentworth Golf Club
BRIONY CARLYON: We're delighted to have our now Rolex Series Event BMW PGA Champion, Billy Horschel, joining us in the media centre here.
Q. You seem to have your own fan club here, as well. I take it there's a celebration planned tonight?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I think so. I think we are going to have a nice dinner. It's funny, Mark and I have become good buddies since March when I won the WGC event, and we have been staying in close connection. I think Friday night he asked if I wanted to grab dinner before I flew out on Monday and I said sure.
We were texting, talking about times and everything, and he said, "I think you are going to win. I have a really good feeling you are going to win." Yeah, it's going to be a really good dinner tonight.
It's been a great week. The fans have been unbelievable, the support. Putting the West Ham bag in play since The Open Championship has taken it to another level. Just surreal to see the support I've gotten over here.
Q. How much do you think it's helped, the West Ham thing; that people know you now, now you're the BMW -- but they know you as the West Ham fan?
BILLY HORSCHEL: When I was here in 2019, obviously people knew me as a golfer and everything. But I think when an American comes over here and is supporting a football club, and it's West Ham, obviously it could have been easy to pick Man-United, Man City.
But to pick West Ham, to have a story behind it; the story obviously got told at The Open Championship and the fans there were loving it. It's taken it to another level. They see that I'm not just a regular American. I understand things over here, what goes on, and they sort of adopted me as maybe a little bit of a stepson.
So it's been nice. And my stats guy, Mark Horton, he's been with me since 2014, he believes I'm half-English already. It's been great since I've been over here and the West Ham thing has taken it to absolutely another level.
Q. You're the first American to win a Rolex Series Event and only second American to win this event after Arnold Palmer. What does that mean?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I didn't realise I was the first American to win a Rolex. Obviously Rolex Series has been around for a new few years, and I know some of the other guys have played some of the other Rolex Series events. I didn't realise that I was the first one to do it, and that's pretty special.
Add my name to Arnold Palmer, that's legendary stuff. That guy, if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have this modern era of golf to play in front of thousands of fans and big sponsors. Tiger Woods took it to another level but Arnie is the one who started it.
So to have my name on that trophy next to his being the second American to win this event here at Wentworth is pretty special. As I said yesterday and as I said today, this event to me after I left here in 2019 was an event I wanted to win in my career before it ended and it rivals or it's equal to me in the sense of THE PLAYERS. This event has historical preference. The winners of this event are legendary. You know, this is very equal to me in the sense of THE PLAYERS Championship on the PGA TOUR.
Q. There's a tone of déjà vu. You've landed a big win before a Ryder Cup and you're not playing in it. How determined are you to finally make that appearance in the event?
BILLY HORSCHEL: Listen, I didn't play well enough to make enough points to be an automatic qualifier. I didn't play consistent enough over the last few months to really give myself a great chance to be picked.
I will say this, I was a little -- there was a little added motivation this week. I thought I was going to get a phone call. Didn't think it was going to be a phone call that said I made the team. But it was a phone call saying, hey, you had a great year, obviously we talked, but we're going to go in a different direction.
I didn't get that phone call. I was a little upset. I was a little ticked. Gave me a little bit of fire in my butt or my arse, to be nice to really not show anything, but you know, just gave me a little fire, not that I needed it.
But yeah, I can't -- like I said, I didn't play well enough to qualify and I didn't play well enough to obviously be close to being picked. So it is what it is. I'm going to support the team. They have got an unbelievable team and I'm excited to see what happens in two weeks.
Q. It's clear you're popular here. Why do you like it over here?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I think when you go to a different country or you go to a different culture or different place in the world, you have to embrace it. You have to embrace the people. You have to embrace the surroundings and I think I've done a really good job of that wherever I've gone. I've tried to connect to the people on a level that I guess, what I would say, on a level that they would be normally used to talking to someone from that country.
So talking football here, talking about the cricket, talking about the England national team. I love watching their sports over here. They have a great passion for their teams and their national teams and they really get behind them. So I understand that, I can embrace that, I love that. I think I've just done a really good job of embracing the surroundings and the people, and I think they have taken kindly to me and I appreciate that.
Q. Do you mean you can understand cricket?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I can. I've been coming over to The Open Championship for a few years and I've gotten a little bit of knowledge through Mark and my caddie, Fooch, the last few years, teaching me a few thing. I was watching cricket earlier in the week during the test match.
Q. Going back to The Ryder Cup, there is obviously some injury, maybe doubts about Brooks Koepka and if Steve Stricker did make the call, I presume you might not be so ticked and you'd be there straightaway?
BILLY HORSCHEL: Listen, I don't know what's going to happen. I know Brooks had to withdraw last week at THE TOUR Championship. He's ab unbelievable player and it would be a big blow to the United States Team if he's not able to play. If somehow a phone call comes my way that says Brooks had to withdraw and I got picked, I'd be over the moon. I mean, I'd be up there faster than, you know, the speed of sound to get there.
But we'll see what happens. Like I said, I haven't -- there's rumours and sometimes you can't always believe the rumours but as far as I know they have got 12 guys that are healthy and ready to play golf and I'm ready to sit on the couch and wear my red, white and blue and support the team.
BRIONY CARLYON: Billy, congratulations again on your victory.
BILLY HORSCHEL: Thank you so much.
BRIONY CARLYON: All the best for the next few weeks and have a nice break. We'll see you soon.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports