Billy Horschel picked the right event to make a statement to United States Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker.
Winning the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play event Sunday helped Horschel vault seven spots up to No. 11 in the U.S. Ryder Cup team standings. The top six players following the 2021 Tour Championship will earn automatic spots on the team.
Stricker will then make six captain’s picks. If Horschel continues playing well, the 34-year-old may not need Stricker’s help in making his first Ryder Cup team.
Horschel has rocketed up to No. 17 in the official world golf rankings with four top-10s in his past nine starts, including Sunday’s win and a T2 at last month’s WGC event at The Concession. While he has yet to play on a Ryder Cup team, Horschel was part of the winning 2007 Walker Cup team.
“I love playing for America,” he said Sunday. “I love playing for the USA. I love when people are pulling against me because I love to just put that needle into them to show them that, hey, you try and do everything you can to affect me and it’s not happening.”
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson remains atop the U.S. Ryder Cup standings. He’s followed by Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele in the automatic spots. Koepka is currently recovering from a knee procedure, with his status for the Masters next month in doubt.
Patrick Reed is No. 7, followed by Tony Finau, Daniel Berger and Webb Simpson ahead of Horschel. Scottie Scheffler, who lost to Horschel in Sunday’s final, climbed eight spots to No. 14 as he also attempts to earn a spot in his first Ryder Cup.
Postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ryder Cup will take place in September with the U.S. playing host to Team Europe at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis.
–Field Level Media