Florida Gators at The Open Championship: Billy Horschel shockingly ejects

By Adam Silverstein
July 15, 2016
Florida Gators at The Open Championship: Billy Horschel shockingly ejects
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Image Credit: Associated Press

The third major of the golf season kicked into gear this week at Royal Troon in Scotland as three former Florida Gators took the course in an attempt to contend and possibly win The Open Championship.

It was an incredibly promising start for Billy Horschel, who finished four shots back of fellow American Phil Mickelson after first-round action on Thursday, posting a 4-under 67 that put him in a tie for fourth.

Unfortunately for Horschel, his play on Friday was another story altogether. With a late 10:10 a.m. ET tee time, Horschel got stuck in the constant rain and high winds that gave him and his peers fits all afternoon. But weather could not be the only excuse for his play.

One day after posting five birdies and a bogey, Horschel straight-up ejected from Royal Troon. He started Friday well enough with five straight pars before things turned as salty as the South Bay water.

Horschel wound up with a five bogeys … three doubles … and a triple. On the back nine, he went +8 over his first five holes in what was probably the worst such stretch of his professional career.

Here’s another way to quantify it. His 18-stroke differential (67-85) in the first two rounds is the second-greatest disparity in Open history and worst since 1966 (22 shots). It’s also the fourth-worst difference between any two rounds in Open history.

It was so wet out at Royal Troon that Horschel had to turn his hat backwards because water was dripping off the brim and affecting his vision and concentration. (He could not take the hat off, of course, because of his sponsors — the same reason Phil Mickelson used a binder clip to keep his hat on his head.) Believe it or not, Horschel actually received criticism from fans on Twitter for the clothing choice.

Ultimately, Horschel will have to put Friday’s disappointment out of his head. Going from T4 to missing the cut at +10 following a 14-over 85 on a Friday is nothing a professional wants to remember. Horschel, though, is so strong-minded that he should be able to move on in two weeks at the 2016 PGA Championship.

Here are some other Gators who were in attendance at The Open.

Mark Calcavecchia, who won the 1989 Open at Royal Troon, missed the cut at +6 after shooting a 4-over 75 on Friday. He’s 56 but still damn angry about it.

Brian Gay actually played better Friday (+3) than he did Thursday (+5) but still missed the cut at 8 over. The saving grace for Gay was that he actually birdied both of his attempts at The Postage Stamp, a difficult 123-yard par-3 eighth hole that can throw many golfers for a loop.

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