Billy Horschel of the United States, ranked 20th in the world golf rankings, will compete this week in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, finishing second in the Race to Dubai, the season-long points race on the European Tour. To win everything, he must pass fellow countryman Collin Morikawa, who is second in the world and leads the Race to Dubai.
If Horschel wins, he would enter the elite business by winning the Race to Dubai and the FedEx Cup, the equivalent of the race on the PGA Tour. Henrik Stenson of Sweden is the only one to win both, winning the FedEx Cup in 2013 and the Race to Dubai in 2013 and 2016.
Horschel is a member of the PGA and the European Tours. This year he has played four events in Europe: the Scottish Open, the British Open, the BMW PGA Championship, which he won the same week he found out he would not be playing in the Ryder Cup – and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship .
Horschel said he embraced his dual tour status and in return was embraced by European fans.
The following interview has been edited and abridged.
How does winning the BMW PGA Championship score in your year?
It was a top highlight. I played it in 2019 and I fell in love with the event. I watched it as a child. It was the first week we didn’t go to school. I would watch it and then play. To win there – the support I got was incredible. It made me feel like an English golfer with so many people helping me to victory. Being the flagship event of the European Tour, it is as important as the Players Championship on the PGA Tour. It’s important to be able to say that I won there. That event can rival any event on the PGA Tour. It is similar to the majors.
What did you think of the Ryder Cup?
I am ecstatic that the US team has won. We often had a strong team on paper, but these guys produced, and I knew they would. Most were really close, but they also knew how to get away and have fun off the golf course. I wanted to make it to the team, but I knew I had a very low percentage chance of making it. I was just more upset because I thought I should have been called. At the end of the day it was my little perceived knock, but it finally worked.
How do you feel about splitting your time on the PGA and European Tours?
The European Tour has become so much more difficult. After winning the BMW PGA, I have received so much support to travel abroad that I would like to do more about it. I try to give myself enough events on the PGA Tour to give myself a chance to win the FedEx Cup again. But I also try to support the European Tour and how it is trying to grow. In the next five to ten years I’m going to try to get there at least five times, although seven would be ideal.
You are in second place in the Race to Dubai. What are you thinking about going into the DP World Tour?
It’s a pretty unique situation. No American has won the Race to Dubai. I think Collin and I have a chance to do something that hasn’t been done before. It’s going to be an incredible week. It will be an exciting race. You have a lot of great players who have a chance to win the Race to Dubai. Adding your name to that prestigious list is something you cannot ignore. I’ve been thinking about it since I won the BMW PGA.
What do seasonal competitions such as the Race to Dubai and the FedEx Cup mean for players?
I always try to win the tournament. I hardly ever know where I stand in points. I always try to get better all year round. But in a few events, you’re 18 behind and you have no chance of winning, and you say to yourself, “Let’s not do stupid things and take away a top-five finish.” At the end of the year, one shot can make a huge difference.