PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Billy Horschel has lived here since 2009 and plays the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass about 20 times each year.
Never in tournament competition, however. Never at The Players.
That changes this week, as Horschel hopes to continue a torrid stretch that has seen him run off four consecutive top-10s, culminating with his stirring victory two weeks ago at the Zurich Classic.
“I just don’t want to be a one-time Tour winner,” he said Wednesday. “I want to win multiple times. So I’m not going to become complacent. I’m still going to work hard. I’m never going to just take it easy and slack off. So the next thing is just keep trying to get better and hopefully the next victory is a little more around the corner than this past one.”
At this time last year, even this tournament seemed far away. His best finish in five starts was a T-30. He would eventually need to return to Q-School.
But Horschel came to TPC Sawgrass on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, catching up with a few guys on the range, only to head down the road to The Plantation to practice. He always left those sessions feeling dissatisfied, though.
“Being on the grounds and not being able to play, it ticked me off,” he said. “I was upset. I didn’t like it. It sort of bummed me out when I practiced.”
But if Horschel can enjoy any advantage at all – if only over the rest of the first-timers – it is this: He knows where to miss on this course.
“The lines don’t look as intimidating because I know there is more room,” he said. “I guess it just makes it a little bit more comforting seeing that I’ve played it, the shots don’t affect me as much.”