Billy Horschel explains why he spoke to the media after shooting 84 at the Memorial

Anyone who has followed Billy Horschel’s PGA Tour career knows that he’s a player who wears his heart on his sleeve and is candid with his thoughts.

While these qualities have endeared him to many, Horschel’s fiery emotions (and occasional club throws) have landed him in hot water a few times over the years — most notably at the 2021 Masters, when Horschel issued an apology for repeatedly slamming his wedge into his bag, and at the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, when he apologized for miming a tomahawk chop to the green with his putter. He also ripped the USGA after his round for the condition of the greens.

So when Horschel fired one of the worst rounds of his professional life, an 84, in the first round of the Memorial two weeks ago, it would have been understandable if he simply wanted to slink away without talking about it. But Horschel did step up to the podium to take questions after his round, delivering an emotional interview that was deeply revealing about the mental toll of professional golf.

On this week’s episode of Subpar, Horschel told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz why he opted to talk.

“I signed my scorecard, I sat in the scoring room for a couple of minutes. And when I got up, one of the PGA Tour media officials came in,” Horschel said. “I could see by her face, I knew what she wanted to ask: ‘Billy, would you be willing to answer some questions?’ I hadn’t thought about like if I was gonna be interviewed or not. I just said yes.”

Horschel said he knew what the questions were going to be, because he had spoken about the iffy state of his game and confidence in a previous press conference that week. But even though he was expecting the questions, Horschel said it was still tough to talk about.

A general view of the 15th hole during a practice round prior to the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 14, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Laying up on a par-3? At this U.S. Open, it’s a strategy pros are considering
By: Jack Hirsh

“I’m honest, you guys know I’m honest,” Horschel said. “I’m never gonna give you the cliche answer. I’m gonna tell you how I feel. And maybe I haven’t always told you when I haven’t felt confident with my game or when things aren’t feeling right, sometimes you’re a little protective of that. But in that moment, I couldn’t protect anything. My confidence was bad. I didn’t feel confident in my game.”

Horschel said making an excuse that he was sick or injured briefly crossed his mind, but he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he didn’t tell the truth and give it his all.

“I’m very thankful for everyone that reached out to me,” he said. “It meant a lot.”

Horschel added that it wasn’t even the score of 84 that got him down — it was more about the amount of work he had been putting in without receiving any positive feedback that got to him.

“I’m not the only one on the PGA Tour that has dealt with this,” Horschel said. “There’s many guys.”

For more from Horschel, including his thoughts on this week’s U.S. Open host, Los Angeles Country Club, check out the full interview below. Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on