2022 Memorial Tournament: Billy Horschel dominates Muirfield for first stroke play win since 2017

By OnlyGators.com Staff
June 5, 2022
2022 Memorial Tournament: Billy Horschel dominates Muirfield for first stroke play win since 2017
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Image Credit: Memorial Tournament

Entering Sunday’s final round as the 54-hole leader, former Florida Gators golfer Billy Horschel had plenty of pressure on his shoulders to close out his first win at a traditional stroke-play PGA Tour event since 2017. After an up-and-down start, he did exactly that by coming through over the final few holes to capture the 2022 Memorial Tournament and pick up his seventh career victory — along with a $2.2 million check — as part of a resurgent season.

Horschel, also an assistant coach on the Gators golf team, drained an eagle putt on the on the par-5 15th to push his lead to four strokes entering the final few holes. This after he shot a 1-over 37 on the front nine and had only made one prior birdie on the day. He bogeyed the 17th but took a three-stroke lead into the final hole, closing out with par on the 72nd hole of the tournament to win by four strokes at 13 under and earn a handshake from host Jack Nicklaus.

“It’s special. It truly is. Jack’s a legend in the game, and to win his event, you’ve seen the guys who have won this event — just legends int heir own right,” Horschel told CBS after the round.

He continued: “That eagle on 15 was really huge. … To make an eagle there and have a four-shot lead with three to play, that’s one that you shouldn’t cough up, and I didn’t.”

After shooting 70-68 to open the Memorial, Horschel dominated Muirfield Village on Saturday with the low round of the tournament, a bogey-free 7-under 65 that gave him a five-stroke lead entering the final 18 holes. Conditions were difficult Sunday, and Horschel took advantage by remaining calm and posting a number that allowed him to clinch the victory.

“I’ve watched Tiger play enough — and I wasn’t around when Jack was playing in his heyday — but obviously you knew he was unbelievable at course management. … To sort of learn from those two and understand, when you have a lead, you don’t have to do anything special. You just got to make sure you don’t give any shots back,” Horschel said.

Horschel’s victory Sunday was the seventh of his career. He most recently won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in 2021 and Zurich Classic in 2018, but his last win at a traditional stroke play event came at the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson.

It also marked the first time his immediate family — wife and three children — saw him win. After sinking his final putt, Horschel’s children rushed him on the green. It was not until 30 seconds later — when they realized he actually won — that they began screaming and celebrating.

“We joke about it in the family, but my wife and my kids have not been at any of my victories — my parents have. Having a five-shot lead, knowing that this was mine to sort of go out and win or lose — and having them here for the first time — I really wanted to win so I could get the monkey off my back,” he said. “It was pretty special. I’m really glad they were here to see it.”

Horschel had put together a stellar season before winning Sunday. He entered the Memorial at 18th in the Official World Golf Rankings — he’s now up to 11th — with five top-10 finishes, including three runner-up placements at the Zurich Classic in April, Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and QBE Shootout in December 2021.

Horschel has also moved into 10th place in the current FedEx Cup standings, earned a full exemption on the PGA Tour through the 2024-25 season and clinched a spot in the 2023 Masters, Sentry Tournament of Champions, PGA Championship and Players Championship.

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