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August 23, 2006

Billy Horschel


PETE KOWALSKI: Billy, thank you for joining us, Billy is our Medalist and winner in his first round match. You started out a little slow I guess and got it back on. Take us through the victory here.

BILLY HORSCHEL: The first several holes I was a little nervous, just wanting to get off to a good start. No. 1, I lost the hole. But 2 and 3, I had good opportunities to win the hole and I let it slip by. Even 4, I had a good opportunity to win the hole and let it slip by. 5, he hit it left and winded up making bogey and I made par. Then I had an opportunity on 6, and 7, and didn't take it. 8, I hit the ball in the water. I hit it over the green to the right, blocked it out in the water which wasn't a good shot, and he won that hole. 9, I won with a par. So I mean, the front nine, it was an up and down battle. I could have easily been 3 up, 2 up, through nine holes and then it seemed that just went to the back nine, have a of confidence, swinging well with my irons mostly. 3 wood I felt confident with. Driver has been a little shaky. It's been shaky for the last couple of days; I've been trying to work on it.

10, I parred. 11 was huge. I hit a bad drive and I hit it in the rough. I tried getting too much out of it and only advanced it maybe 60 yards and I had 250 to the pin. I just took 2 iron and just said, put a confident swing on it. I mean, if I hit it solid, it's going to get there, and I hit it good. Landed on front of the green, rolled up the slope and came back to about 25 feet.

Me and my dad looked over that putt and we knew it was breaking left, and once it got up to the hill it was breaking back to the right. I hit a putt and played the perfect line and the putt went in. And that was huge, just making that putt, because Ray had just missed his birdie, so it gave me a lot of confidence.

I went to 12, I won that with a par and Ray had like a little 7 , 8 footer he missed.

13, that long par 4 par 3, my fault, which it was a short par 4. I hit 2 iron just in front of the green and Ray blocked his shot out to the right. He hit one heck of a recovery shot to about 12 feet. I pretty much had a 2 putt par and he made his par, so I could have been, what was that, 3 up right there, but he made another good putt.

We went to 14; was a huge hole for me. It was only 305 to the middle of the green. I think it's maybe about 295, 290 to the front. So I learned back at the Western Am, the 8th hole, they had those tees playing up and I was 2 up on Pablo at one time, hit driver to put some pressure on him, laid up with 5 iron and blocked it right in the trees. I told myself, like on that hole I'm going to hit 5 iron, ended up pulling it way left. Had to hit it behind the hole to about 15 feet which probably about the closest I could have got it and Ray hit his shot to about 12 feet behind the hole. I missed my birdie, he missed his, I made a little par putt coming back.

I think what really was even huge was 15, we both didn't hit spectacular third shots in there. He was long, he was way short. He made an 8 footer for par. I had a 5 footer, and I knew if I made it, I would have a lot of motivation, a lot of I'm trying to think, just a lot of energy going to the last three holes, have a lot of pressure was going to be on him being 2 down with three to play.

Made that putt and went to 16. I hit it to about six feet. He hit his shot into the right rough. Could only could play to the left side of the green. He 2 putted, I made my little 4 footer for birdie and won my first match. Got the monkey off the back and I'm still in it, so it's nice.

PETE KOWALSKI: You shot 60 the first day and you come to Hazeltine and you shoot 78. Did you want to get the golf course back with your first match, too?

BILLY HORSCHEL: You know, that 78 was not as bad as it looked. I mean, it was just two holes where I played stupid golf, as I would say. I was trying to be Houdini trying to make some remarkable escapes from the trees and just kept trying and playing. Then the number kept going higher and higher and wind up with a triple and double on two holes. I mean, if you would have watched it, I driver was going all over the place, but I just put myself into position to make par.

I knew I wanted to come back out here and get the course a little bit. I'm playing solid. I'm just playing really smart golf, making a lot of putts, putting well and chipping well and everything, thinking, pretty much well. So I'm doing good. Game's on top notch right now. If I can just get the driver a little got to tweak it right now, so I could hit a little more fairways.

Q. When you shoot a 60, does that put any burden on you? Do you come in thinking, don't be the guy who shoots 60 and then goes out in the first round?

BILLY HORSCHEL: You know what, yeah, I mean, you could say that.

I mean, everyone is gunning for me. I'm Medalist; I shot 60. Even I wasn't medalist, somebody, they would be gunning for me because I'm the guy who shot 60. So I have a lot of people gunning for me. I mean, this guy, Ray, was a tough player. So whoever I play tomorrow in the morning match is going to be coming after me, and I've just got to be prepared for it.

Q. So what do you do the next time you get to a drivable par 4?

BILLY HORSCHEL: Depends on the situation. But more than likely, if I'm up, I'm going to go for it. If I'm down, depending on what he does, I'm going to go for it. So either way, I'll probably wind up going for it. But if I can reach it on the fly, I'm going to go for it, because usually I'm a straight driver. I hit the ball pretty straight. Just the past couple days, the driver has been a little wayward, so we're going to go fix it now.

Q. Do you like it when they move the tees up?

BILLY HORSCHEL: It gives you an option. You can put pressure on your opponent by driving that green and puts the pressure back on him. So, yeah, I like that. It's a good risk/reward hole.

Q. I think if I count them up, you're even par, but yet to listen to you talk, it seems like it wasn't a good day. But can you win matches out here at even par?

BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, if I shoot even par, I'll win matches, unless someone unless someone is having a hot day and making a lot of putts.

Like I said, I could easily have turned that even par into 69 or a 68. Whenever I put myself in the fairway, I was hitting really good iron shots and hit it really close. So my iron game is probably the best it's been in a while. My short wedges, my wedge shots, I'm really hitting those well, distance control is does good.

So everything's on all cylinders right now except that driver. But that driver will be fine by tomorrow morning, promise.

End of FastScripts.

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