Defending champ Horschel misses cut, bemoans putting


AVONDALE, La. – Billy Horschel says he’s close to his breaking point. He’s in the top 10 on the PGA Tour in total driving, he’s top 10 in ball-striking, and yet he’s still struggling to make cuts.

Horschel was on the wrong side of the cut line again this week at the Zurich Classic, where he was defending his title. His 74-70 start at TPC Louisiana ensured that he wouldn’t be around for the weekend.

“I hate missing cuts more than I like winning,” he said afterward.

Horschel failed to record a birdie last weekend at the Heritage. He managed only five during the first two rounds here at TPC Louisiana, where Ben Martin has the 36-hole lead at 15 under par.

Despite going through all of his same drills in practice and switching putters last week, Horschel says he gets on the course and the ball “doesn’t know how to get in the hole.”

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“I’m not even sure if I played on one of those 15-inch cups it’ll go in,” he said.

Horschel wasn’t the only player in his featured group to be heading home early, though. Both Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed were sent packing, too.

Fowler, one of the pre-tournament favorites, shot 75-72 to end a streak of back-to-back top-6 finishes. Reed, meanwhile, made a 10 on his ninth hole Friday – rinsing three shots on the par-5 18th – en route to a 76 and 6-over 150 total.