Tour Championship, FedExCup, Billy Wins It All

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Billy Horschel wins it all, the Tour Championship and the FedExCup.

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Billy and Two Trophies.

Billy described it one word;

“Unbelievable.”

He cruised through the final round in -2 under par 68 to finish with a total of -11 under par, and a three shot victory. He spoke about his pregnant wife and how they had discussed this tournament;

I remember flying home and talking with my wife and she said, ‘You’re probably just waiting for the season to be over and start a new season.’ I sort of was.”

 “But at the same time, I knew my game was in the right shape and I just needed to get out of my own way. I needed to allow my golf game to show.”

“Hopefully, she’s not going into labor right now.”

I was able to rise to the occasion and get the job done, and it just gives me so much confidence, such a thrill to accomplish something like this, especially with the guys I was going up against.”

Rory McIlroy failed to fire in the final round, carding a +1 over par 71, he finished the tournament tied in second place with Jim Furyk, at -8 under par.

Rory had to admit that Billy played the best golf;

“Billy deserved it, he played the best golf this week. I was making bad swings at the wrong time and getting punished for them.”

“When Billy was making bogey on ten I thought I had a decent chance and then I three-putt there for the second day in a row and I felt like any chance I had to win the golf tournament went.”

“To win two Majors, my first WGC event and give it a real good run in these FedEx events, I’m really proud of myself the way I hung in there and dug deep the last few weeks.”

“When I look back on the year as a whole it’s been my best year to date so I can’t complain.”

Rory and Jim will be heading off to the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland, the European Team will be happy that Billy Horschel will not be there, especially in the form that he is in right now.

Tour Championship. Rory Right Alongside Billy.

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Rory McIlroy is right alongside Billy Horschel as the pair are tied together at the top of the Tour Championship leaderboard at East Lake Golf Club

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Rory and Billy / Getty Images

Rory Eagled the par five 15th on his way to scoring a -3 under par 67 and catch Billy at the top of the Tour Championship leaderboard, which going to make it an epic battle in the final round. Both golfers are tied at -9 under par for the tournament and both are looking forward to the challenge.

Rory is happy to be there;

“To be tied for the lead with 18 to play, the way I have played this week, thats all I could hope for. My short game really saved me today. I think the par putt on 11 was a big momentum putt in the round after three-putting 10 and Billy being in there pretty close and just narrowly missing for birdie. I think being able to hole that par putt was big.”

“Thats the great thing about the play-off’s, if you just get yourself in, with a good stretch, you have a chance at it all”

“I’ve come here with the ultimate goal of trying to cap it off and trying to put an exclamation point on it or the icing on the cake or whatever you want to call it. Would it be poetic justice? I’d feel really good about it.”

“I just want to win.” 

Billy wanted to go at it straight away;

” Can we go tee it up right now ? I”m serious, that would help me out a lot.”

“Your not going to play a perfect 72 hole event, hope I got my bad nine out of the way, and I have a great 18 left” 

” It’s going to be an exciting day.”

These two have a two shot lead over third placed Jim Furyk who matched Rory’s -3 under par 67 round and is alone in third at -7 under par.

There are three dangerous players just one shot further back at -6 under par, Justin Rose, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler.

Rickie shot -3 under par 67 and Justin went one better with -4 under par 66, while Jason stood still with his even par 72 third round.

Rickie thinks he is in a position to make a go of it;

” Really all you can ask for going into the week is to be in a position to win Sunday.”

“The tournament is really going to start tomorrow on the back nine. I know pretty much most of the scenarios for me. I know if I win I’ve got a pretty good chance. I know there’s some possibilities of some extracurricular activities if certain things line up properly.”

Gary Woodland fired the low round of the day, a -7 under par 63, but after his earlier troubles it only got him to -1 under par for the tournament.

It’s all go for an exciting finale tomorrow.

 

 

The Tour Championship. Billy Bursts Ahead.

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Billy Horschel has burst ahead in the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club, leading the field by two shots after 36 holes.

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Billy bombs one away / Getty Images

Billy carded another round of -4 under 66 to lead the Tour Championship with total of -8 under par, he tends to favor the back nine, recording his four birdies over the last ten holes;

“That’s the way it’s been lately, I’ve been playing one side better than the other. I probably should have shot a little lower on the front side today, but I’ll take those two nines again for two more days and see where that gets me.”

“Even though I won last week, I did it without my best stuff. That’s what gives me my confidence.” 

He also spoke about his friend Rory;

“He’s a good buddy, if I happen to come out on top and we’re battling out these next two rounds, that means a lot.”

“The guy won three straight events in a row, and two of them happened to be majors. I think that’s pretty impressive. He’s at that stage where when you’re able to go toe to toe with one of the best players and the No. 1 ranked player in the world and you’re able to come out on top, that gives me a lot of confidence.”

 

The overnight co-leader Chris Kirk, with Rory McIlroy and Jason Day are tied in second place, just two shots back at -6 under par. Chris(No. 1) and Rory (No. 4) are also among the top 5 players who would automatically win the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake Golf Club. Jason (No. 10) needs a win and would also need the benefit of some help from the top five players.

Rory had an amusing escape from a wild tee shot that ricocheted around in the tree’s, and seemed to disappear.  No one knew where it went until a fan realized it had fallen into the front pocket of his shorts.

A PGA TOUR rules official ascertained that the fan had not moved, so Rory was given a free drop under Rule 19-1-a, but he was not going to retrieve the ball himself;

“I know how sweaty my pockets are. I’m not going into anyone else’s. I need to stop hitting it off-line. Things happen there.”

Before coming into these FedExCup Playoffs, it was going to be a great season, anyway. I wanted to cap it off in style, and I’ve given myself a chance to do that over the next two days.”

“I’m going into this week with nothing to lose. I’m the one that’s got the two majors this year. I’m the one that’s had the great season. Those are the guys that are trying to cap off a great season for themselves.”

“No matter what happens over the weekend, it’s going to be OK, but I still want to win this thing.”

Tour Championship. Billy and Chris Show the Way.

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Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk, the in form people, are leading the Tour Championship together, tied at the top of the East Lake Golf Club leaderboard.

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Billy and Chris both recorded opening rounds at The TOUR Championship of -4 under par 66 at East Lake Golf Club. Although Billy’s wife Brittany is expecting a baby any time soon, she told him to keep playing golf;

My wife is totally on board, she’s a golfer. She understands what this victory and FedExCup Playoffs and what it all means. I’ve probably got the greatest wife out here.”

“There wasn’t much discussion. I brought up the question. She said you’re staying.” 

“I won’t find out on the course, because my focus may be taken away from the task at hand. But after the round’s over with, I will be flying home, spend a few hours and then flying back later that day or the next morning before the round of golf.”

“Having a chance to win $10 million and our first child on the way, it’s pretty amazing, especially the time of year that it’s happening.”

“Listen, Hunter Mahan did a great thing last year pulling out, but I would think if he was in my position with winning, having a chance to win, roughly $10 million more, if you had the TOUR Championship winner’s check and everything, I think it would be maybe a no brainer to stay put and keep playing and go home in between rounds.” 

Chris mentioned the solid rounds they both played today, and how good it was to go round with Billy;

“We both had a solid day, Billy’s obviously been playing some pretty incredible golf with winning last week and finishing second the week before.  And I’ve been doing all right myself.”

“So it was a comfortable pairing for both of us, I think, and the golf course played really, really well. It was tough, but very fair. And we both had it going pretty nice.”

There are four players tied in third place, Jim Furyk, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed, all on -3 under par for the tournament.

Patrick is in the unenviable position of choosing which caddy to use, wife Justine, who has recently given birth to their son, or  her brother Kessler, who him helped win two tournaments when Justine was not available;

“Depends on how Justine feels, what her comfort level is and what she feels like doing.” 

“I mean, whether she’s caddying or whether Kessler’s caddying, I know I can play well. I’ve won with both of them, played some great golf with both of them.”      

“Obviously it’s more of a family decision on what we feel is most comfortable not only for us but also for little Windsor Wells.”

The gathered media could only ask Bubba who was longest off the tee, him or Rory, great answer from Bubba;

“Who cares. Ask Rory. He could care less, too. Listen, all we want to do is win. We’re trying to win golf tournaments. Jim Furyk’s record, Corey Pavin’s record’s a lot better than Bubba Watson. So I wish I hit it like them, I guess.”

Rory had a slow start to this tournament, currently at -1 under par, along with Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler and Ryan Palmer.

BMW Championship. Billy Lifts BMW Championship Trophy.

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Billy Horschel lifts the BMW Championship Trophy at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver.

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Billy Horschel / Getty Images

Billy held it all together while those around him faltered, his final round -1 under par enough to give him the BMW Championship with a -14 under par tournament total.

Last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship he was tied second, a win this week, what is his prediction for the The TOUR Championship next week ?;

“I’m not going to go ahead and guarantee a victory right now, but I will say that I’m probably going to play very well and I will have a chance to win on Sunday.”

“You want to keep saying negative things to me, that just adds fuel to my fire, I’m going to stick it to you every time. If I was a betting man, I would put some money on me.”

Billy was not too impressed with his -1 under par final round effort;

“I didn’t have my great stuff, I had been holding it for way too many holes. I just felt like, you know, I can sort of relax now.”

Bubba Watson had to settle for second place, a last round -4 under par 66 not good enough to make a challenge, finishing two shots behind at -12 under par, he laid the blame on poor putting;

” You’re going to have weeks like that, and I’ll take it. It’s one of those things where I had a shot, second place is a start in the right direction.”

“10 million bucks worth of putts wouldn’t be too bad.”

Morgan Hoffman took third place, a superb last round of -7 under par 63 and -11 under par total, it was also good enough to get him into the top 30 for The TOUR Championship next week, his first ever appearance. He will also get to play the Majors, with friend Rickie Fowler;

“It means the world to me.”

“It’s going to be really exciting to play in the majors with him next year, it’s always been a dream of mine to play in the Masters.”

“I didn’t really hit it much better on the weekend than the first two days.”

 

Sergio was cruising along and seemed almost certain to catch Billy, or at least bring some pressure to bear, unfortunately he failed miserably when he carded an eight at the par 5, 17th, some very poor chip shots costing him dearly, and he was only 89 yards from the green.

He tweeted;

“Shame about the 17th today but still very happy with the week. Looking forward to the @playofffinale!”

“It’s what happens when you’re not just mentally sharp.”

Ryan Palmer had it going, until the 12th, which he bogeyed, then followed that with a double on 13th and two more bogey’s at the end, on 15 and 18.

He finished with a +1 over par 71 and -9 under par total, a rare shank started the rot;

“It wasn’t very good, obviously, it came out straight right.”

“You know, it’s a fickle game.”

Rory McIlroy tweeted that just in case you missed his four-putt yesterday, he did it again today.

This is how the top five line up for next weeks TOUR Championship

1. Chris Kirk 2. Billy Horschel 3. Bubba Watson 4. Rory McIlroy 5. Hunter Mahan

The strange thing is Dustin Johnson is in 30th place, the last qualifying spot, and he can not play, so why can they not call up the next man in line. Stuart Appleby ?

 

BMW Championship. Sergio Soars.

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Sergio Garcia soars to the top of the BMW Championship leaderboard at Cherry Hills Country Club.

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Sergio Garcia / Getty Images

Sergio sunk a clutch putt on the 18th green to put some distance between him and the chasing pack of players at the BMW Championship. A superb second round -6 under par 64 gave Sergio his breathing space at the half-way stage of the tournament at Cherry Hills Country Club, posting a tournament total of -8  under par. A pulled second shot into the par five 17th, which ended in the lake, was rescued with a one putt par.

He was bothered by a strange medical condition with his left ear, but it clearly didn’t affect his golf;

“It’s happened before, but usually I kind of blow it and it gets back, but for some reason, it just didn’t feel quite the same. And it still doesn’t, but it’s definitely better. It shouldn’t be too big of a deal.”

“Obviously, it helped, because then I made 2 on the next hole.”

“It’s only Friday, so we still have two days to go, but it definitely helped my frame of mind going into the 18th tee, which today was playing quite hard. So it was nice to be able to get that up-and-down and then play 18 really well.”

“After a couple weeks where I didn’t play my best, and I didn’t feel quite that comfortable, it’s nice to at least put two solid rounds together here. I’m looking forward to playing well on the weekend, too. And then, obviously, get ready for the Ryder Cup.”

Ryan Palmer is alone in second spot, just one shot behind at -7 under par, a late run of birdies, on 13, 14 and 17, 18 helped him to his -6 under par 64. He thought the rains had made the greens softer, and more accessible and he was right;

“It was a great way to finish, I was glad I was one of the ones that shot low.”

Rory McIlroy and Billy Horschel are tied in third place at -6 under par. Rory was not too happy with his round overall, but was happy to birdie three of the last four holes;

“I feel much better coming off the golf course because I birdied three of the last four holes. I sort of struggled to get anything going today. It was a little cooler, so the ball wasn’t going quite as far, a little bit of wind, even though the course was softer, it still played pretty tough.”

Phil Mickelson is probably playing his last PGA TOUR event of the season, he needs to finish about fourth to qualify for the TOUR Championship but is 14 shots behind and in a tie for 63rd in the 68-man field.

Jason Day had to retire on the ninth hole, citing a back injury, but hopes to be ready for the TOUR Championship.

BMW Championship. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a three-way tie at the top of The BMW Championship leaderboard at Cherry Hills Country Club.

BMW Championship

Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy was one of the trio, but should have been out in front, two late bogey’s at Cherry Hills Country Club meant he had to share the lead with Gary Woodland and Jordan Spieth.

Obviously Rory was not happy with conceding those two late bogey’s,

“I’m a little frustrated coming off the course, because I feel like it should have been better than what I finished. But you can see by the scores, it’s pretty tricky out there, so a 67 is a really good start, even though it could have been a bit better.”

“The scoring isn’t that good out there, not that it’s not good, it’s just not that low. It’s tricky. It’s playing a little bit like a U.S. Open. I wouldn’t say it’s quite as difficult as that, but it’s thick rough, especially around the greens, and firm greens. That’s what they need to keep the scoring the way it is.”

“It’s tricky. It really is, the altitude, we’ve had a couple of days to adjust to that. It’s fine. But these greens have gotten so much firmer over the last 24 hours. I think that’s what is giving the guys just a little trouble out there.”

Jordan praised his short game for his good score;

“Today, I had a good short game. I kind of almost feel like I’m back at a U.S. Amateur or a college event this week.”

“This is one of the very few events where I may have more experience than a lot of guys. So I’ll take that mental attitude the next few days.”

Gary mentioned the firmness of the course;

“Probably the firmest golf course we have ever seen, the greens, they’re concrete out there. So if we don’t get any rain, it can be pretty interesting by the weekend.”

“I drove the ball well, with the altitude, when I’m hitting it in the fairway, I’m giving myself wedges into holes. I’m able to kind of get in there and be a little more aggressive.”

“If you’re laying back today, the greens are so firm, you’re hitting long irons into these holes. The ball’s not stopping. So, it’s nice to be able to drive the ball in there and get wedges in your hand.”

” I’m still trying to win this thing, that’s the beauty about the FedExCup. You adjust after next week, so the goal is to move up as far as you can, and be in the top five going into next week, and you control your own destiny.”

Phil Mickelson shot an opening round of even par 70, and  is T22 in this tightly packed leaderboard, he also spoke of the hard conditions;

You’re able to hit driver on every single hole if you want,  if you miss it, you have some real problems.”

“You just can’t stop it, you can’t hit it high enough or soft enough or get enough spin on it to get the ball to stop unless it’s just straight uphill.”