Billy Horschel has expressed regret after letting frustrations get the better of him at the US Open to the extent he stopped narrowly short of embedding his putter into a green.
Horschel was one of several players to express anger at the putting surfaces. After completing his fourth round the FedEx Cup holder said he had “lost respect” for the USGA, which runs the second major of the year.
His tantrum went viral online. “I am sorry for my actions on the 6th green,” Horschel said. “I did not hit the green with my putter but it is still not acceptable behaviour to do that. It is not the behaviour I wish to show to millions of viewers and fans. And it’s not the role model I wish to be to so many golfers in the world today. It was unacceptable and I promise to do better. Once again, I apologise.”
Interestingly Horschel showed no remorse whatsoever over his stinging criticisms of the course. Mike Davis, the USGA’s executive director, will feel vindicated by a championship that threw up a dramatic finale and Jordan Spieth, the star attraction of American golf, as the winner. “Let’s look at how the course performed because at the end of it all that trumps everything,” Davis said.
As Spieth celebrated, there was further woe for Dustin Johnson. The 31-year-old had a 12ft eagle chance on the last hole to win his first major but instead three-putted. Johnson was a notable absentee from the awards ceremony but did face the media.
It was merely the latest major opportunity to be passed up by Johnson. He may deny it but psychological scarring seems inevitable. “At the end of the day golf is golf. I’ve got my family and that’s most important to me,” he said. “My trophy is holding up my little son. I couldn’t be more proud of myself and my family. No matter what, I’m going to keep my head high and I’m going to be happy.”
On his first putt at the last, which slid 4ft past the hole, Johnson cited possible surface influence. “I might have pulled it a little bit but still to me it looked like it bounced left,” he said.
“I’m disappointed that I three-putted the last hole. Other than that I had a damn good week. I’m happy with the way I played. I’m happy with everything in my game right now. I had a chance to win again a major on a Sunday.
“Starting the week all you want is a chance to have a chance to win on the back nine on Sunday. I did that. I put myself in the position. I hit the shots I needed to hit. I just didn’t get in the hole quick enough. I had a lot of putts on the back nine from six feet and in that I missed. All of them I thought I hit good putts on. I did everything I could.”
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