Best three weeks come at perfect time for Horschel

Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:21pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Billy Horschel felt "surreal" after producing the best three weeks of his golfing career just when he need to, capping an astonishing playoff run with a three-shot victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday.

With his PGA Tour season hanging in the balance after a missed cut at last month's Barclays tournament, he gave himself a timely wake-up call and proceeded to finish second, first and first to secure FedExCup honours and the $10 million jackpot.

Horschel's performance in the season-ending event at East Lake Golf Club was hugely impressive as he extended his run of scores in the sixties to 12, the longest on Tour, and outshot world number one Rory McIlroy in the final round to triumph.

"It's surreal, it really is," a beaming Horschel told reporters after closing with a two-under-par 68 in damp, overcast conditions to finish three ahead of fellow American Jim Furyk and McIlroy. "I'm on cloud nine, it's unbelievable."

"I warmed up pretty well and got off to a pretty solid start, had some good looks on the first three holes, and just kept playing solid. Maybe the back nine could have been a little bit cleaner, but it was good enough to get the job done.

"I'm thrilled to be the FedExCup champion and the Tour Championship champion, especially with the year I've had."

Horschel was ranked 69th entering the four-event playoffs and dropped to 82nd after missing the Barclays cut, knowing he had to stay in the top 70 at the following week's Deutsche Bank Championship to advance to the BMW Championship.

All this after he had recorded just two top-10s and seven missed cuts in 24 starts on the 2013-14 PGA Tour.   Continued...

Sep 14, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Billy Horschel holds up the FedEx Cup after the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports