Livescore Friday, April 12

Billy Horschel is a warrior. A PGA Tour player known for a fiery side and a willingness to speak his mind, the University of Florida product is not one to back down from a battle.

But in his house, Horschel is outnumbered. And since he knows what’s good for him, the 2014 FedEx Cup champion figured if he was going to acquiesce on a topic, it might as well be Taylor Swift. See, the 14-time Grammy winner is a big deal in the Horschel home, where daughters Skylar and Colbie and wife Brittany are all big fans.

“Listen, Taylor Swift is massive in my household. My girls went to a Taylor Swift concert last year in Atlanta with my wife and they are massive Swifties,” Horschel explained.

So, he’s not sure what planted the seed in his head — perhaps it was pre-teens playing a Swift-heavy playlist — but Horschel seemed to inadvertently channel his inner-Swiftie when he turned to his wife and said he needed to play with a little more reckless abandon on the golf course.

“I sort of had a dream I think Sunday night of Players, woke up Monday morning and we were talking about Valspar,” Horschel recalled. “Before I left that Monday morning, I said yeah, I think I’m just going to put a Sharpie on my left wrist that says ‘fearless’ because I had a dream seeing fearless on my left wrist. She said, ‘Well, I’ll just make you a bracelet,’ so she made me a bracelet. I didn’t realize this either, I don’t think my wife realized it at the time, I guess Taylor Swift’s second or third album is ‘Fearless’ and she has a song ‘Fearless.’ I’m not the biggest Swiftie.

“I get asked about it a lot from the fans now when I sign autographs, they ask if I’m a Swiftie or are they friendship bracelets or anything. It’s a cool little thing, but also just puts me in the right mind frame of when I’m playing golf of what I want to be thinking about.”

Horschel has clearly been playing with less fear on the golf course in recent days, posting four top-25 finishes in his first eight starts this season, including a T-7 at the Texas Childrens Houston Open last weekend in which he posted a 64 on Sunday to climb near the top of the leaderboard.

Heading into this week’s Valero Texas Open, a place where he’s traditionally finished strong, the seven-time PGA Tour winner feels like he’s, well, 22.

“The game’s been in a really good spot all year. You look at the stats in every department, it’s in a really good spot. It’s sort of been more or less getting out of my own way. I say getting out of my own way,” Horschel said. “When you hit shots that you’re not accustomed to hitting the way I did last year, you start to have some mental little demons in there a little bit, so I’ve had to clear those out and replace them with better golf shots.

“We’re just trying to build the momentum. Over my career historically, we can go back around look, I tend to play well as I build momentum. My wins come from playing well multiple weeks in a row and that’s how it’s always been in my career. So hopefully I can continue to build that momentum until that victory pops up again.”

Billy Horschel of the United States watches his shot from the first tee during the final round of the Texas Children’s Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course on March 31, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Raj Mehta/Getty Images)

Horschel has extra motivation to win at TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course. For just the second time since 2014, he’s not in the field for the Masters, meaning he’ll need a victory to make his 10th appearance in the April major.

It adds pressure, certainly, but the vet knows he’s locked in at the right time.

“Yeah, I’m not in Augusta and my main focus this week is to win,” he said. “Listen, I’m not very happy that I’m not in Augusta. I’ve been fortunate enough to play there quite a few times, and I play the game of golf because I want to create a legacy, that’s all I’ve ever cared about. The money aspect is great, but I’ve always understood that if you play well and you win golf tournaments, the financial side takes care of itself. I want to be remembered for what I did on the golf course and winning golf tournaments and winning golf tournaments that you can put your name next to legends in the game of golf and players that are the best in that generation that you’re playing against.

“I’m not happy that I’m not in Augusta or any of the majors as we sit here right now, but listen, it’s my own fault. I can’t do anything about that, I didn’t play well last year, but the great thing is this game of golf gives you opportunities to correct that wrong and I’m trying the best I can right now to make up for a bad year last year and get myself back to where I feel like I deserve to be in the game of golf or I want to be in the game of golf.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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