Billy Horschel has admitted he was disappointed US Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker didn’t call him to let him know he wouldn’t be involved in this month’s match.
Stricker, 51, completed his 12-man American side with six picks last week. Horschel was tipped as an outside bet for one of those spots having finished 17th in qualifying. He was also able to point to his victory in the WGC-Dell Technologies Matchplay earlier in the year as justification for his candidacy.
However, the 34-year-old missed out, revealing that Stricker didn’t even pick up the phone to break the news to him personally.
He used that disappointment to fuel his victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
“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’,” said Horschel. “In my mind, I thought I’d at least get that. So, there was a little more added motivation this week for that.”
This is the second time in his career that Horschel has won a high-profile event after the US team has been finalised. In 2014, he missed out on a place on Tom Watson’s side for Gleneagles before then going on to win the Tour Championship and, with it, the FedEx Cup.
That prompted the PGA of America to hold back a captain’s pick until after the conclusion of the PGA Tour season.
“It sucks not making the team,” added Horschel. “I didn’t play consistently enough and well enough after I won the Matchplay to warrant a pick or get enough points to be an automatic selection.”