MORE INTERVIEWS: Valero Texas Open transcripts archive
DOUG MILNE: Billy Horschel, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. 4‑under 68 here in round one of the Valero Texas Open and coming off a good week last week as well. Just kind of moving from one Texas city to the next. Couple of comments on the round and we'll open it up for a few questions.
BILLY HORSCHEL: Today was a good day. Any day under par out here, you know you played well because it always blows. This course is a good course. You've got to drive it well and put your ball in the right spots on the greens so you don't miss it in the wrong spots. But make some putts and everything.
But today I made a couple of good par saves early in my round to get the momentum going and not to lose anything. Then I made birdie at 17 and 18 to turn at 2‑under which is nice, and took advantage of a couple holes downwind on the front side with a birdie at 2. I had a couple of other opportunities but didn't fall.
I birdied 7. That was a tough pin location. Went sort of down of the left and hit it to about 7 or 8 feet. Then you've got the last two holes dead into the wind and off the left a little bit. You know they're going to play tough, so pars are good. Sort of pulled my second shot on number 8. Got a good break in there that it didn't get in a bad area, and I was able to just hit a little shot up on the green and two‑putt from there. Then I made a nice 18‑footer at number 9 to finish off the round.
So, all in all, it's a good day. I just got to work on a couple of things. I could hit the ball a little bit better, but I did a good job of managing it and making a couple putts.
Q. Just playing this course with the wind is unseasonable. It wasn't built for a north wind, so it makes it a little tougher. Only 12 or 13 guys go under par in the morning session. What exactly worked for you today compared to maybe when you played this course in different conditions?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I've got a lot of confidence right now. So I think you've got to take advantage of the holes downwind. You get 10, 11 down, you get 13, the long par‑3s downwind. Then you get 14, it's huge. You have to take advantage of 14 and 17, both birdie holes downwind. Then you go to the front and you get the first four holes downwind there, and then you've got 5 which is a short par‑4. So it's more or less just a 3‑wood and wedge into the green today.
Then once you sort of make the turn on the front side, you've just got to hold the reins and try not to let anything slip up. So it's just the north wind does make this course play a little bit tougher. I think any wind makes this course play tough. It doesn't really matter. You've got to drive it well out here, and I think that is the big key. Putting the ball in play, and then you can get a little bit better chance at being aggressive into the green.
Q. How do you think this has all happened? How has this run‑‑ what kicked it off?
BILLY HORSCHEL: I don't know. I mean, I know my first couple years out here wasn't great. I have high standards for myself, and I'm a perfectionist when it comes to golf. Off the golf course, maybe not so much; but on the golf course, I'm a perfectionist. In college, I was very consistent day‑in and day‑out, in tournaments always near the top of the leaderboard and finishing up near the Top 10 at least.
You turn pro and I tried a little too hard. I think that's what the key was. I put a lot of pressure on myself to play well, didn't allow myself to be free and allow it just to happen.
Then, also, you sort of realize what your weaknesses are a little bit. Not that I had a lot coming in. I just think I could have been a little bit more consistent day‑in and day‑out with my short game. I spent a lot of time on that with Todd Anderson. He's got one of the best short game players in the world in Brandt Snedeker, so I'm sort of picking Brandt's brain a little bit, trying to do the same drills he does and everything. Obviously, they've worked for him, why can't it work for me?
But I think with my ball striking always being somewhat solid and I never really have to worry too much about that. I think it's just more or less short game and making the putts inside 10 feet on a more consistent basis. Throwing in a couple of 15‑20‑footers around. Those are putts that keeps a round going or gets a round going with making a birdie or something.
So I think just the run all started with me just being a little bit more‑‑ putting a little more time on a regular basis with my short game.
Q. A perfectionist on the course but not at home. Can you give me an example of what you would let slide at home and what kills you on the golf course?
BILLY HORSCHEL: Like I said, I'm not so much at home. I go through spells at home where my closet has to be in order. I don't like clothes lying around. Then that doesn't happen often. I just throw clothes in. I'll organize my closet, and it will be great for a week or two maybe three at best. Then I just get tired of hanging them up and being in order and everything, and my wife knows that. So I go like a month or two where my closet's just like all over the place. Then I'll clean it back out.
I hate my car being dirty, but I don't do anything about it (laughing). I guess that's one thing. But when it comes to the golf course, I want to hit the ball perfect every time. I want every putt to be perfect every time. I want every chip to be perfect every time. I don't want any mediocrity in my game, and I won't even use it as a term.
It's funny, my caddy will be like, Oh, that was good. And I'll be like, Yeah, I didn't think the great though. He says you just hit it 15 feet on the green, and I say, Yeah, but it didn't feel great though. It's just that I want everything to be perfect every time I hit a shot, and I've sort of understood that it's not always going to be like that.
So I've sort of tried to lessen my standards a little bit. Still have high standards, but understand that 15 feet is still good. I guess that's something along those lines.