Billy Horschel of the USA rebounded from an early, final round stumble to win the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club by two strokes from his countryman Bubba Watson
Billy Horschel of the USA rebounded from an early, final round stumble to win the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills Country Club by two strokes from his countryman Bubba Watson.
Horschel led by three going into the final round, but Ryan Palmer caught Horschel within six holes and the pair were tied after two holes of the back nine.
Horschel moved one clear again after the 12th, then the decisive moment came on the 13th. Both men found thick rough from the tee but, after Horschel had played a great escape shot onto the green, Palmer couldn’t match him.
Palmer’s ball squirted out of the thick lie and into a stream in front of the green. He was unable to get up and down and walked off with a double bogey. That put him three behind and, effectively ended his challenge.
Sergio Garcia had moved into contention, but his chances disappeared on the par-5 17th. His third shot went through the green, then he chipped back into the water. He carded a triple-bogey eight and eventually finished in a tie for fourth with Palmer, Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk.
Horschel held steady on the run for home and closed out the win. It was a sweet moment for the American who had thrown away a chance of victory in last week’s Deutsche Bank Championship with a fatted six-iron on the closing hole.
“Obviously after last week, a lot of people on Twitter were calling me a choker,” he said. “I didn’t choke. I made a bad swing at a bad time. To start with a three-shot lead today and hold on means a lot to me.”
The victory puts Horschel into second place on the FedEx Cup standings and gives him a chance of securing the Cup and the $10 million bonus at the Tour Championship.
The top five – all of whom will win the FedEx Cup with a victory at East Lake – are: Chris Kirk, Horschel, Rory McIlroy, Hunter Mahan and Bubba Watson.
In the battle to make the top-30 on the standings and so qualify for the Tour Championship, Morgan Hoffman was the big mover. He fired a closing 63 to claim third place at Cherry Hills. That lifted him from 68th to 21st spot on the points list.
Ryan Palmer climbed from 37th to 23rd.
Cherry Hills Country Club, Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
Sep 4-7, purse $8,000,000, par 70
1 Billy Horschel (USA) 68 66 63 69 266 $1,440,000
2 Bubba Watson (USA) 70 66 66 66 268 $864,000
3 Morgan Hoffman (USA) 72 72 62 63 269 $544,000
T4 Rickie Fowler (USA) 71 66 66 68 271 $319,000
T4 Jim Furyk (USA) 70 68 67 66 271 $319,000
T4 Sergio Garcia (Esp) 68 64 72 67 271 $319,000
T4 Ryan Palmer (USA) 69 64 67 71 271 $319,000
T8 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 67 67 72 66 272 $232,000
T8 Adam Scott (Aus) 71 66 69 66 272 $232,000
T8 Jordan Spieth (USA) 67 70 68 67 272 $232,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage