Horschel displays his Gator allegiances
May 09, 2015
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Billy Horschel shot 3-under 69 on Saturday at TPC Sawgrass' PLAYERS Stadium Course. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Billy Horschel never contemplated a different outfit for Saturday at TPC Sawgrass -- orange and blue shirt, blue belt, orange pants -- even if the former University of Florida standout knew he’d get grief over it from the Florida State fans in the crowd.
Florida's campus is about 90 minutes away; Florida State's three hours.
“I heard more ‘Go Noles’ this week than I have the last three years,” Horschel said. “I'm guessing it's because they won a national championship and they come out from the woodwork and they think they're all high and mighty.”
Not everyone was rooting against him. One fan said, “From a (Georgia) Bulldog to a Gator, go Gator.”
Horschel did his best to oblige, making four birdies over his first nine holes before finishing with a 3-under 69. He is three shots off the lead entering the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship.
A big part of his success this week? He lives down the street and has played TPC Sawgrass plenty. He also ranks fifth in fairways hit, 10th in greens in regulation and for the most part has putted well this week.
Among the ones he made with the flat stick was a 23-footer for birdie on the 17th hole Saturday. It was a key stroke, even more so when he made bogey on the final hole after driving into the right rough and being forced to lay up.
It also gave Horschel one last chance to remind the gallery of his allegiance.
“Everyone thinks I did the Gator chomp because there are a lot of Gators that are doing it towards me and everything, but what it really was is, I walked up to the green, I saw about 20, 30 ‘Noles fans giving me the tomahawk, so I went ahead and gave them the Gator chomp,” he said.
He did the same thing last year after he won the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and FedExCup at East Lake. Sunday, he hopes he can again.
Billy Horschel takes a bite out of the island green at THE PLAYERS