As one of the more expressive players on the PGA Tour, Billy Horschel has been known to let his emotions get the better of him. To bemoan a bad shot. To throw a club or two.
So, naturally, as he prepares to again team with Sam Burns at this week’s Zurich Classic, where the duo of top-15 players and contrasting on-course personalities tied for fourth a year ago, Horschel was asked if he feels an obligation to, in the reporter’s words, “tone it down” as to not affect his partner.
Before Horschel could respond, Burns quickly interjected: “I hope he doesn't.”
Horschel also had just spoke of how this team event has always seemed to bring out the best in both his game and attitude. He couldn’t explain why he can garner that “laid-back mentality” and relax more at TPC Louisiana, but he wished he could bring that demeanor to majors.
“I feel like I put a little too much pressure on myself in other events,” Horschel said.
If anything, Horschel knows his faults. But he says he’s also done making excuses for himself, and he had a lengthy response to the aforementioned question on Tuesday that offered a humanizing look inside the mind of one of the Tour’s most misunderstood players:
“My competitive fire burns the way it burns. 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. 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, and just hope people understand that not everyone is cut from the same cloth.
“This is my work, and this is what I do for a living. I'm curious if I went to someone else's job and if they were having a bad day and things weren't going that way, how do they act? Now, they may not be able to throw a club and they may not be able to slam something, but their reaction is a little bit different because they may be in a confined space or an office or a building, so they react differently. But my fire is going to be that way the rest of my life.
“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. Like I said, that's me, and that's the way it's always going to be. 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.”
When he was done, Burns added more levity to the room.
“If he gets running too hot this week,” Burns quipped, “I'll just go give him a hug and calm him down a little bit.”