Billy Horschel arrived at AT&T National off a fourth-place finish at the U.S. Open. (Stan Badz/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. --Two weeks ago, Billy Horschel had his highest ever finish in a major, tying for fourth at the U.S. Open.
With Congressional playing nearly as tough as one, Horschel is again in contention after opening with a 68 Thursday at the AT&T National.
"It's like another U.S. Open," Horschel said. "Off the fairways, the rough is thick. Tough to hit the ball on the green.
"Fortunately, the greens are soft, so they're really receptive. It's still a tough golf course. Got to drive the ball really well here, give yourself opportunities."
Horschel didn't waste any time doing that, making three birdies in his first four holes, including one from 50 feet on the par-3 10th, his first hole of the day.
Two holes later, he stuck his approach to 6 feet to set up another and added a third on the par-3 13th, where he rolled in a 13-footer.
Horschel didn't fare as well over his final nine holes, making just one birdie (and one bogey) but was happy with his score after hitting just five fairways.
"This year, I've worked hard on my short game and my putting," Horschel said. "When I do miss one offline, I can get it up and down on a regular basis."
He proved that at Merion two weeks ago, too.
Horschel was in contention going into Sunday's final round but shot 74 on Sunday to finish four shots back.
"The tougher the golf course, the better I play," he said. "Those U.S. Opens usually, and I won earlier at Zurich this year, which was a big confidence boost. My first major as a pro, I finished fourth with a really good field and had a chance to win going into the weekend, you can only build confidence in that."