Billy Horschel wins the BMW Championship
Billy Horschel was able to win the BMW Championship on Sunday at Cherry Hills by two over Bubba Watson. Some quick thoughts before we move on to the last PGA Tour stop of the year at East Lake.
Redemption was a major theme of the American Ryder Cup press conference on Tuesday, but it was also a big thing this week at Cherry Hills. You may recall that last week at the Deutsche Bank, Horschel had a chance to win while standing in the fairway on 18. He proceeded to do this:
That’s pretty much the worst shot you’ll see a tour pro hit, and while a lot of the discussion around the event came back to Horschel chunking one into the junk, it’s also important to remember that he had the opportunity to do so while trying to win on the 72nd hole. For someone who hasn’t really done much this year after breaking through with his first win in 2013, Horschel’s run is obviously a big thing for him and as I mentioned on Twitter last week, Horschel being in contention on the PGA Tour is a very good thing for the game. Golfers get rightly critiqued for being boring and giving stock answers to questions, but Horschel is different. Everything from his mannerisms and his wardrobe to his style of play make him an entertaining player and personality to watch, and in a sea of khakis and Kuchars, he’s a breath of fresh air.
Horschel for Gleneagles
Back in December, I wrote this in a post titled “2014 Golf Wishes”:
This is just a tiny one, but can you imagine the intensity at Gleneagles if Horschel and Poulter are pitted against each other in a meaningful Sunday singles match? Poulter will be on the European team, while Horschel will likely be fighting an uphill battle to get on the American side, but if it happened, you’d be enthralled the entire time.
As I wrote last week, I don’t have a problem with what Tom Watson did with his captains picks, and after saying that I wouldn’t pick Chris Kirk on the basis of a couple of hot weeks, I can’t justify saying that Horschel should be on the team, but man, he’s made for the event, isn’t he? His time will come.
Over the last few weeks, Phil Mickelson hasn’t exactly been overly optimistic about his current form and rightfully so. No wins and two worldwide top-10’s would be a bad season for just about every player at this level, much less someone with the resume of Mickelson and it’s clearly been getting to him. He’s been saying that he doesn’t know what to expect on a weekly basis and he even took a shot at the PGA Tour for scheduling four weeks of intense golf in a row with the FedEx Cup playoffs, which was requested by Tom Watson so the guys could have a week off prior to the Ryder Cup.
So, after another poor two rounds and with no chance to move on to the Tour Championship next week, Mickelson decided to call it quits in the middle of the night on Saturday and withdraw, saying that he wanted to prepare for the Ryder Cup and honestly, it’s bullshit. I understand the idea that he’s not playing well and that he’s probably tired from playing so much recently, but to withdraw in the middle of the night like this with no real reason for doing so is outright wrong. In a no cut event, fans who bought tickets to the weekend with the guarantee of seeing Mickelson got screwed over, as did BMW and the PGA Tour, who without Tiger Woods being in action, rely on Mickelson to bring some star power to their events.
Not to mention that Mickelson has always played in the lead up to big events, saying that he feels it’s the best preparation for tournaments as opposed to just sitting at home and practising. For someone as intelligent and PR savvy as Mickelson, this was a big whiff.
The FedEx Cup
In general, I like the FedEx Cup. Sure, it’s a money grab for the big guys, but it gives fans and tournament organizers much better fields than they would otherwise get for these events late in the season, which theoretically means better golf. I just wish that the PGA Tour would go back and reassess the points once again to give a little more weight to the “regular season” events and not make it so heavily skewed to these four weeks. I get the idea that the playoffs in other sports mean more than the regular season, but doesn’t seem a little strange that guys like Kirk and Horschel are currently sitting above Rory McIlroy in this format? Rory’s been on fire for the last ten or eleven months and somehow isn’t sitting on top, which seems wrong, but hey, Dustin Johnson’s qualified for East Lake, so there’s that.
- Sergio’s putter absolutely killed him on Saturday, which isn’t something we’ve been able to say in a long time, but he actually had a chance to win on Sunday before making an utter mess of the par-5 17th. He had about 255 to the pin, which really played like 230 with the elevation at Cherry Hills, and he decided to lay up to about 85 yards instead of going for it and he then crushed a wedge over the green, bladed the next one into the pond and made triple. The lesson? No Laying Up.
- Incredible weekend of 62-63 for Morgan Hoffmann, who is now into East Lake after starting just inside the FedEx Cup bubble at 124.
- Loved getting a chance to see Cherry Hills.
- Tournament GIFs coming, but I still can’t believe this happened: