Billy Horschel tees up 70th birthday treat for dad in Dunhill Links

Billy Horschel’s dad could have celebrated his 70th birthday on Friday by joining a big group of friends on a hunting and shooting “shindig” at home in the US.

Billy Horschel and his father, Billy Horschel snr, pose for a photograph on the 18th hole during a practice round ahead of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Picture: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images.

Instead, he’ll be teeing it up at Kingsbarns in the second round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship alongside his son.

“He chose here and he chose wisely,” said Horschel jnr of Horschel snr, also Billy, making that milestone occasion a small family affair in Scotland .

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As Rory McIlroy has done in the past with his dad Gerry, Horschel has taken the opportunity of a debut appearance in the pro-am event to enjoy the delights of Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and St Andrews with his old man.

“He’s 14 handicap, he’s usually about 11 or 12 but he had knee replacement surgery in March/April,” said Horschel, who is bidding to record back-to-back wins on the European Tour after his victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth earlier in the month. “He’s been practising for…two months I think he’s back at it now.

“He was actually going to postpone his knee replacement to later this year. But earlier in the year I said, listen, you’ve got to be able to play golf in September’. This was before I knew we would play this.

“I had a trip planned for him with 14 guys (for his 70th birthday) and he needed to be able to play golf. And so when this came about, I had to re-up to him, ‘we got two options for you, you can go somewhere with 14 buddies and friends of ours, play golf, hunt and fish and do stuff, or we can go to the Dunhill Links and play as a team​​’.”

Apparently, he didn’t take long to decide on the latter and Horschel, who has his sights set on becoming the first American to win the Race to Dubai, admitted: “I was appreciative of his choice because he saved me a few dollars.

“All those guys and what I had planned it would have been a great shindig, but he chose to come here and experience this.

“We played the Old Course today and he was two-under after ten holes. He can play good, he has that build into him. But next holes he made triple, and he made another triple somewhere.”

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