Billy Horschel sets sight on Ryder Cup after Gleneagles disappointment

Seven years after agonisingly missing out at Gleneagles, Billy Horschel is hoping a Ryder Cup debut is looming on the horizon after his WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play victory.

Billy Horschel celebrates with the Walter Hagen Cup after winning the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club in Texas. Picture: Michael Reaves/Getty Images.
Billy Horschel celebrates with the Walter Hagen Cup after winning the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club in Texas. Picture: Michael Reaves/Getty Images.

The 34-year-old claimed his sixth PGA Tour title with a 2&1 victory over fellow American Scottie Scheffler at Austin Country Club in Texas.

The win has lifted Horschel, who played in the 2007 Walker Cup team at Royal County Down, to 11th in the standings in the battle to make Steve Stricker’s side for the rescheduled Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in September.

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Just before the 2014 match in Scotland, Horschel won both the BMW Championship and Tour Championship in the PGA Tour Play-Offs.

But Tom Watson’s team had been finalised after the second event in that end-of-season series, meaning that he didn’t have the option of picking Horschel as a wild card.

To avoid a similar circumstance, a tweak was made for the 2016 event at Hazeltine to allow Davis Love to make his final pick after the Tour Championship and that change was dubbed ‘The Billy Horschel Rule’.

“I want to make the Ryder Cup team,” said Horschel as he savoured his latest success. “I would be stupid to say I don't want to make the Ryder Cup team or not be aware of it.

“I feel like I should have been on Ryder Cup teams before, but that's my fault because I haven't done what I needed to do to take care of that.

“But maybe this year is the year. I don't know. We're still six months away from the Ryder Cup, so there's still a lot of golf left to be played and we'll just have to see how the rest of the year plays out.”

Horschel’s Walker Cup appearance in Northern Ireland was a winning one on a team that also included Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler.

He also played on a successful Palmer Cup side before teaming up with Scott Piercy to win the 2018 Zurich Classic in New Orleans on the PGA Tour.

“I feel like I'm a really good partner to pair up with a lot of people because I love that format. I love having a team-mate there,” he added.

“I don't put anything as No 1. There is a top-five priority and it's always been one of my priorities that I wanted to make.

“I've played the Walker Cup team. I've played the Palmer Cup team, I've had successes in those formats. I love playing for America. I love playing for USA.

“I love when people are pulling against me because I love to just put that needle into them to show them that, hey, you try and do everything you can to affect me and it's not happening.

“I've always said if I could play one Ryder Cup, if I made one Ryder Cup team, I would want to play in Europe, just because I feed off of that.

“Not that I wouldn't feed off playing here in America. If I do happen to make a Ryder Cup team in my career, I'll be happy because I feel like that's one I can check off of what I have wanted to accomplish in this game."

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