DUBLIN, Ohio: Billy Horschel ended any doubt about his victory at Muirfield Village with an eagle putt from one finish of the inexperienced to the opposite on the fifteenth gap, sending him to a four-shot victory Sunday on the Memorial.
Horschel was staked to a five-shot lead at first of a sun-soaked ultimate spherical and nobody ever obtained nearer than two pictures. He closed with an even-par 72.
There nonetheless a number of nervous moments.
Horschel’s streak of 49 consecutive holes with no bogey ended on the sixth gap. He didn’t make his first birdie till the tenth gap. He needed to scramble for bogey on the par-3 twelfth that dropped his result in two over Aaron Smart.
Earlier than the lengthy eagle, Horschel saved himself with par putts of 12 ft on the thirteenth gap and eight ft on 14.
After which it was over. From the entrance of the inexperienced on the par-5 fifteenth, Horschel’s putt from simply inside 55 ft had the right line and ideal velocity, bending left and dropping within the left facet of the cup as he stretched out each arms in a quiet, disbelieving celebration.
“Identical to you, large man,” Horschel mentioned to event host Jack Nicklaus when it was over.
His lead was as much as 4 pictures, and it was a snug end. Horschel completed at 13-under 275 and gained $2.16 million, the biggest paycheck of his profession. As an elevated occasion, the win comes with a three-year exemption.
Horschel mentioned he has realized from Tiger Woods and Nicklaus that he didn’t have to do something particular with a five-shot lead until the second referred to as for it. It was calling on the fifteenth gap after Smart stuffed a wedge into 2 ft for birdie.
“If I needed to do one thing particular, I used to be prepared for it,” he mentioned. “Making that was big.”
Smart did what he may in a ultimate spherical so troublesome that nobody shot higher than 69. He and Joaquin Niemann had been the one gamers to use any severe stress on Horschel. He opened the again 9 with a pair of birdies sand saved par from the again bunker on the twelfth. However he dropped a shot on the thirteenth simply as Horschel was wanting shaky.
Smart made a meaningless bogey on the ultimate gap for a 71 to complete alone in second.
Cameron Smith, who had the 36-hole lead, additionally began 5 pictures behind. He had a pair of double bogeys for a 42 on the entrance 9 and was by no means an element.
Niemann, who gained one other elevated occasion at Riviera within the Genesis Invitational, made a powerful transfer and was creeping inside vary till his wedge on the 14th discovered a bunker, resulting in double bogey. He answered with two birdies, completed with a double bogey and shot 71. He tied for third with defending champion Patrick Cantlay (71).
Earlier than the handshake with Nicklaus, Horschel was mobbed by his three kids. He now has seven PGA Tour victories. His spouse has watched him win. His mother and father have seen him win. This was the primary time his kids had been there, they usually had been bouncing on the agency greens.
Which may have been as nice as any stress as Horschel felt.
“Having a five-shot lead, realizing it was mine to win, I actually needed to get the monkey off my again,” he mentioned of profitable together with his children in attendance.
Horschel strikes to simply outdoors the highest 10 on the earth, the best he has ever been, due to a yr that lastly has introduced some consistency in a hit-and-miss sport. He has three victories within the final 15 months, all of them towards robust fields — the Dell Match Play and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth final yr, and now this.
It would even be sufficient to lastly be thought-about for a US group with the Presidents Cup later this yr.