Billy Horschel wins the WGC Matchplay Championship after beating fellow countryman Scottie Scheffler
Billy Horschel wins the WGC Matchplay Championship after defeating fellow countryman Scottie Scheffler in a hard-fought final at Austin Country Club
- Billy Horschel has won the WGC Matchplay Championship in Austin this year
- He defeated Scottie Scheffler 2 & 1 in the third all-American final in a row
- Both golfers made mistakes and Horschel admitted that he wasn’t playing very well
Colin Montgomerie struck out at the ‘ridiculous’ pace of play when Billy Horschel defeated Scottie Scheffler to win the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
In the third straight all-American final, Horschel recovered from an early deficit by beating Scheffler 2 & 1 in the Austin Country Club final and securing the £ 1.3 million first place prize.
The 34-year-old had previously defeated France’s Victor Perez 3 & 2 in the semifinals before Scheffler beat Matt Kuchar by one hole in a match that lasted four hours and eight minutes in windy conditions.
Billy Horschel (right) has won the WGC Matchplay Championship by beating Scottie Scheffler
In a tight final, Horschel beat Scheffler 2 & 1 to secure the £ 1.3 million first place prize
The game’s icy pace was criticized by Sky Sports commentator Ewen Murray, and eight-time European number one Montgomerie wrote on Twitter: ‘100% agree. Speed of play is ridiculous.
‘No one for them. Green reading books, aligning the lines on the ball. Really annoying. And Matchplay is the fastest form of golf. Something needs to be done #slowplay. ‘
Responding to an image of both players and their caddies consulting their meter books, Montgomerie added, ‘All four have their meter books out. They played the hole with training 9 times this week. Stood idle there for two minutes! Slow play should be penalized #slowplayruiningthegame. ‘
Scheffler, who had a lot of public support as a native Texan, drew first blood in the final when Horschel booed the second hole after pulling his drive down a ravine.
Horschel got back to level in style by filling in for a birdie on fifth and looked ready to win the next after a wild drive from his opponent.
Despite having a lot of public support as a Texan, Scheffler was unable to emerge victorious
Horschel bogeyed the second hole but soon found his rhythm and birdie on the fifth
However, after taking a penalty drop away from a fence, Scheffler scrambled a par five and Horschel was unable to get a winning birdie on a bad approach.
One par was enough for Horschel to win the seventh and take the lead for the first time, and another par on the ninth doubled his lead after Scheffler made three puttes from 95 feet.
Horschel certainly seemed to extend his lead as Scheffler pulled his approach to the par-5 12th into the water, then took six after hitting his third shot into a bunker on the greenside.
But Scheffler then lost a golden opportunity to cut his deficit in half by missing from four feet for a birdie to win the 14th.
Things went wrong for Scheffler (right), as he had to take a drop on the 13th hole
Horschel (right) said that despite winning the tournament, he “didn’t play very well” on the day
Scheffler also had the chance to keep the game alive on the 17th, but missed from 10 feet for birdie and Horschel could celebrate winning a first-ever World Golf Championship title.
“It was one of those days when I didn’t play very well, I didn’t feel very good with my swing, so I just grinded it out,” Horschel said.
‘I wish I had hit it better so I had more chances to do birdies, but I had two opponents who just weren’t making putts and I did and that’s the difference today.’
In third / fourth place, Kuchar held off Perez’s fight back to win 2 & 1.