Billy Horschel and Derek Ernst are playing in their first PLAYERS Championship this week. (Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Editor’s note: Billy Horschel and Derek Ernst won each of the last two weeks on the PGA TOUR and are playing in their first PLAYERS Championship this week. They will file a daily diary for PGATOUR.COM, documenting their week on and off the course beginning Tuesday.
Billy Horschel: TPC Sawgrass exaggerates your mistakes, especially in tournament conditions, if you don't miss in the right spots and I didn't miss in the right spots and shot 76. I got some bad breaks out there, too. Some bunkers have a lot of sand in them and some don't. I just don't get it. On No. 10, for example, I'm not sure if I just shanked it or there was just no sand in the bunker. I had a simple bunker shot on No. 14 and made the smallest swing and the club bounced off like it was on concrete.
I don't know what golf course Robert Castro was playing. I don't care if it's not in a tournament or is in a tournament, a 63 is just spectacular. Me, I just need to work on a couple things and not make stupid mistakes. I was probably the most frustrated after I bogeyed Nos. 7 and 8 (I started on the back nine) because I just made bad mistakes there and didn't trust what I wanted to do.
There have been times when I put extra pressure on myself playing in front of family and friends like I am this week, but I didn't think about that today. I was just playing bad and was upset. It was just a frustrating day. It was also the worst I could have done today.
I don't feel like I've worked hard enough this week, plus the rain cut short my practice last week. I don't care how tired I am, I need to feel like I'm ready and prepared for Friday. Who knows, I'll probably shoot 4 or 5 under on Friday.
Derek Ernst: It was an up-and-down round of 74. I bogeyed the second hole, a par 5, and that took the wind out of my sails a little bit. It's a short par 5 and I had an iron in my hand and I pulled it and ended up on a downslope on the short side and ended up three-putting.Then on No. 6 I hit driver trying to be aggressive and it went into a bunker and kicked left and ended up against a tree, so I had to take an unplayable and I ended up making double bogey.
I also didn't wake up feel very good -- I had a headache and a stomach ache and was fighting them all day long.I took some Advil throughout the day but couldn't get it to go away. Afterward, I ended up going to Roy's for dinner and ate a lot of food, so that helped.
I need to play well on Friday -- I think the cut will be around 1 under. It's going to be difficult, though. The wind is supposed to pick up in the afternoon and it's going to be warm, so the course is going to be firm and fast.
If there was one thing I was happy about it was my finish. I hit my approach shots to under 12 feet on each of the last three holes and birdied one of them (No. 16), so I ended strong. Friday I'm just going to have to stay patient and leave it under the hole a lot and manage myself around the course a little bit better and then hopefully can make it to the weekend.