Billy Horschel made history Sunday as the first American since Arnold Palmer in 1975 to win the European Tour's BMW Championship.
His post-round comments made clear that he used a perceived snub from Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker as extra motivation at Wentworth.
“I was a little gutted I didn’t get a call this week," Horschel said after shooting a final-round 65 to finish -19 and win by one shot. "I didn’t think the call was going to say I made the team but I was a little gutted I didn’t get a call to say, ‘Hey, you know, you didn’t make the team.’ In my mind, I thought I would at least get that, so there was a little more added motivation after that.”
Stricker added Daniel Berger, Harris English, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth with his six captain's picks on Wednesday. He said then he "called a lot of guys. I felt like they deserved hearing it from me ... You know, throughout this whole process I was keeping in touch with 20 to 25 guys throughout this whole deal. I probably called another five or six guys I think just to touch base with them to let them know where we stood."
Horschel apparently wasn't one of those guys. He expanded on that, and the possibility he could replace Brooks Koepka in a second interview after the BMW championship, which is below:
Question: There's a tone of deja vu. You've landed a big win before a Ryder Cup and you're not playing in it. How determined are you to finally make that appearance in the event?
Horschel: Listen, I didn't play well enough to make enough points to be an automatic qualifier. I didn't play consistent enough over the last few months to really give myself a great chance to be picked.
I will say this, I was a little — there was a little added motivation this week. I thought I was going to get a phone call. Didn't think it was going to be a phone call that said I made the team. But it was a phone call saying, 'Hey, you had a great year, obviously we talked, but we're going to go in a different direction.'
I didn't get that phone call. I was a little upset. I was a little ticked. Gave me a little bit of fire in my butt or my arse, to be nice to really not show anything, but you know, just gave me a little fire, not that I needed it.
But yeah, I can't — like I said, I didn't play well enough to qualify and I didn't play well enough to obviously be close to being picked. So it is what it is. I'm going to support the team. They have got an unbelievable team and I'm excited to see what happens in two weeks.
Question: Going back to The Ryder Cup, there is obviously some injury, maybe doubts about Brooks Koepka and if Steve Stricker did make the call, I presume you might not be so ticked and you'd be there straightaway?
Horschel: Listen, I don't know what's going to happen. I know Brooks had to withdraw last week at The Tour Championship. He's an unbelievable player and it would be a big blow to the United States team if he's not able to play. If somehow a phone call comes my way that says Brooks had to withdraw and I got picked, I'd be over the moon. I mean, I'd be up there faster than, you know, the speed of sound to get there.
But we'll see what happens. Like I said, I haven't — there's rumors and sometimes you can't always believe the rumors but as far as I know they have got 12 guys that are healthy and ready to play golf and I'm ready to sit on the couch and wear my red, white and blue and support the team.