Confidence lowest in his career, defending Memorial champion Billy Horschel shoots 84
DUBLIN, Ohio – Billy Horschel opened last year’s Memorial with a 2-under 70 on his way to a dominant four-stroke victory. There was nothing dominant nor familiar about his performance on Thursday at Muirfield Village.
He bogeyed three of his first four holes, made a double-bogey-6 at No. 9 and struggled even more on the second nine, on his way to a 12-over 84 that left in 118th place out of 119 players.
“My confidence is the lowest it’s been in my entire career. I think ever in my entire golf career,” Horschel said after his round. “It’s funny, as low as it feels, it feels like I’m not that far off at the same time.”
The entire year has been a struggle for Horschel with just a single top-10 finish, at the WGC-Match Play. With just two months remaining before the playoffs start, he’s currently mired outside the top 100 on the season-long points race.
Thursday at Muirfield Village was a snapshot of his troubles this season. He struggled off the tee, hitting just six of 14 fairways and losing 2.11 shots to the field. He was even worse with his irons, ranking 118th in the field in strokes gained: tee to green (negative 10.8 shots). For the year, he ranks 176th in strokes gained: off-the-tee compared to 50th in that category last season.
“As much as I would love to throw in the towel and not come out tomorrow, that’s just not in me. I’m just not one of those players. There’s plenty of those guys out here on Tour that would make an excuse about being injured and everything,” Horschel said. “But I’ll show up and I’ll go out there and give it my all like I always do and try and find something, try and play well, and move on. I mean, it’s a day and I’ve had plenty of these days this year.”