$10 million takes precedence over labor day for Horschel

Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:01pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

ATLANTA (Reuters) - In-form American Billy Horschel has a great deal on his mind at this week's Tour Championship, where a staggering playoff bonus of $10 million is up for grabs while he also prepares for the arrival of his first child.

Horschel's wife, Brittany, is scheduled to give birth in two weeks' time but they have agreed that tournament golf and the chance to win FedExCup playoff honors will take precedence if their baby girl makes an earlier arrival than expected.

"My wife and I are due two weeks from Saturday," Horschel told reporters after charging into a share of the first-round lead at East Lake Golf Club with a four-under-par 66. "On the golf course I'm not thinking about it.

"We have decided that if she (Brittany) goes into labor while I'm playing, I will just keep playing, because $10 million is a lot of money and I'm not going to pass that by.

"And I'll just fly home after the round and fly back (to the tournament) a couple hours later, spend some time with them."

Horschel, who rose to second in the FedExCup points list after finishing runner-up at the Deutsche Bank Championship two weeks ago and then winning the BMW Championship on Sunday, said he did not want to be notified while out on the course.

"We've talked about that," the 27-year-old explained after recording four birdies in a flawless display to end the opening round of the PGA Tour's season finale level with fellow American Chris Kirk.

"I'm going to stay put on the golf course. I'll find out after the round. I won't find out on the course, because my focus may be taken away from the task at hand.   Continued...

Sep 11, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Billy Horschel tees off on the third hole during the first round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports