Horschel needs rally to return to Tour Championship


LAKE FOREST, Ill. – This is just about the time that Billy Horschel went on his $10 million tear. 

A year ago, he was No. 82 in the standings after a missed cut at the playoff opener. Then he closed with a runner-up and back-to-back wins to capture the biggest prize in golf. 

He’ll need a similar rally this year – just to make it back to East Lake.

After a steady but unspectacular season in which he posted only two top-10s in 27 starts, Horschel is No. 67 in the standings. According to PGA Tour projections, he likely needs a third-place finish to crack the top 30. 

“I want to get there,” he said Wednesday after his pro-am round at the BMW Championship, “but at the same time, I’ve put myself in a predicament by not playing well and taking care of business. It is what it is. I either play well and go to East Lake, or I go home and start my offseason workout program.” 

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Horschel is just the latest FedEx Cup champion who experienced a market correction after cashing in his big bonus. 

Since the FedEx Cup began, in 2007, Brandt Snedeker (2012) is the only champion who reached the Tour Championship the following year.

“I wouldn’t say that there’s been a letdown for me this year,” Horschel said. “I feel like I played pretty solid this year.” 

Instead, Horschel attributed his current position to a series of slow starts in tournaments. To wit: His first-round scoring average (71.38) is ranked 147th on Tour. 

“Which is so weird,” he said, “because my prep going into the tournament – whether at home or the week of the event – has been so good. I don’t know why I haven’t played better in the first round. Maybe I’ll figure it out this week. I’m going to go out there and freewheel it, and maybe that’s what I should have been doing the whole year.”