Billy Horschel is one of the few modern day golfers that truly wears his heart on his sleeve. There are times however, where the line between passion and the unacceptable have been muddied but it seems he is done fighting his critics.
Speaking ahead of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the American said: "This is going to sound blunt, it's going to sound bad, but if you don't like it, I honestly don't care anymore. I've cared enough over the last 13 years of my career to try and please everyone that watches me, and you know what, I can't do anything more. I've done everything I can. If you don't like me for some reason, I don't care anymore.”
The 35-year-old was forced to apologise at the Masters last year when a video emerged online of him repeatedly slamming a club into his golf bag. He again received criticism this year for aggressively throwing his club after his second shot to the 11th found the water.
The American was also at the forefront of controversy at the 2017 Players Championship when he was forced to issue a public apology after a club throw inadvertently struck his caddie.
With a millimeter the difference between a journeyman and a great, one can often be forgiven for these outbursts (within reason, of course) but Horschel appears to be more accepting of his ways than seeking forgiveness.
“My competitive fire burns the way it burns. I wish I could … I'm not going to say I wish because I don't think if I was this way it would make me a better player. But I envy Scottie Scheffler and some of these guys that they hit bad shots, they're not playing well, you can't tell.
"They're just enjoying the game of golf and they're having fun and laughing. I can be that way for a little bit, but it just runs way too hot inside me, and I can't stand not being able to play to the level that I expect of myself on a day-to-day basis."
The six-time PGA Tour winner added: "There are times that it boils over, and you know what, it happens. I've apologized many times for it, and I'll apologize in the future for it, too. But that's me. I just hope people understand that not everyone is cut from the same cloth.”
“I think I've done a better job of handling it and trying to do it in a proper way, especially in a way that doesn't affect anyone I'm playing with,” Horschel said. “Like I said, that's me, and that's the way it's always going to be."
Horschel will team up with fellow American Sam Burns this week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Burns isn't cut from the cloth that his partner referenced but did offer some light relief in the press room: “If he gets running too hot this week, I'll just go give him a hug and calm him down a little bit.”
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James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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