Weekend Winners: Horschel, Quiros earn career-boosting victories

Golf News

Billy Horschel saw off Jason Day, while Alvaro Quiros also came through a play-off as both got their careers firmly back on track.

PGA Tour: Byron Nelson – Billy Horschel

Jason Day’s first three-putt of the week came at the first extra hole to hand Billy Horschel his first win since the 2014 Tour Championship.

Horschel’s last four starts had finished in four missed cuts but he was back in the winner’s circle after a closing 69.

At the first extra hole, Day left himself a putt of nearly 50 feet and left himself a four-footer for par. With Horschel tapping in for par, the former world No. 1 inexplicably pulled his effort to hand the title to Horschel.

“It’s really surreal,” a clearly emotional Horschel said. “This is probably the most emotional [win]. I’m sort of speechless because the other three wins I’ve had in my career have come off of really good playing. [I came] here [after] missing four straight cuts, not having of any type of momentum. [But] came in here and felt at peace.”

The winner’s round livened up when he holed the longest putt of his career, from 60 feet, at the 14th having three-putted the previous two holes.

At the next Day then produced something even more outlandish when his poor drive meant he missed the green at the 15th, only to chip it in.

But that lead was wiped out when Horschel made a two-putt birdie four at 16. Then at the last Day, whose first win on Tour came here in 2010, had the better chance but his putt from 15 feet never looked like going on and they would have to return back to the tee for extra holes.

James Hahn came within a whisker of joining the play-off when his wedge from 119 yards lipped out at the 72nd hole. The Korean-born American had led by two but three straight dropped shots saw him overtaken by Day and Horschel and he was unable to make up the deficit.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia came into the final round on the back of rounds of 65-64 but a pair of double bogeys on the front nine saw him turn in 40 shots. His 74 saw him drop 14 spots to a share of 20th.

European Tour: Rocco Forte Open – Alvaro Quiros

When Quiros birdied the seventh hole he led by seven, in the end he had to go down two extra holes to beat Zander Lombard to regain his Tour card with his seventh victory.

The Spaniard looked like having to focus on the Challenge Tour in 2017 but he is now back inside the top 250 in the world, he began the week at 703, though he was made to sweat in Sicily.

By the turn the lead was down to four and the back nine was a catalogue of dropped shots with the lead halved to just two when the South African birdied the 13th.

At the 16th Quiros found an unplayable lie off the tee, took six and a bogey at the next meant he had dropped four shots in three holes.

In the end Quiros had to make a 15-footer to make the additional holes where Lombard missed a short one at the second extra hole.

Fellow Spaniard Pep Angles had a chance to make the play-off after chipping in at 17 but then dropped a shot at the last.

Meanwhile Li Haotong took third after making the second albatross of the season, after Prayad Marksaeng at the Indian Open, and surely wins the award for the most understated reaction to pulling off such a ridiculous shot.

“Obviously it shouldn’t be like that but at the end it’s a victory and that’s the most important thing,” Quiros said.

“It’s been a little bit of a mess. The game wasn’t that bad. Just the last few holes I started to struggle with the wind left to right and he was playing nice, Pep was playing nice too. I didn’t have an idea how many shots I was leading by, what I knew on 18 is I have to make a putt to halve with Zander.”

More from NCG...

Previous article
Next article
Top