Horschel’s Eagle Lifts Him to 4-Shot Victory Over Wise in 47th Memorial

Billy Horschel rode to his seventh PGA Tour victory on an eagle’s wings.

The 35-year-old Horschel sank a 53-foot eagle putt on the 15th hole to highlight an even-par 72 and won the 47th Memorial Tournament by four strokes over Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

Then Horschel received the Jack Nicklaus Memorial Trophy and a handshake from the great Nicklaus, who is the tournament host.

“It’s special to win here because Jack is such a legend and you look at all the greats of the game who have won this tournament,” said Horschel, whose previous victory came in the 2021 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. “Plus, my wife (Brittany) and my kids had never seen me win in person before.

“With a five-stroke lead entering the round, obviously the tournament was mine to go out and win or lose. The lead was down to two, but I just wanted to keep hitting fairways and greens, and two-putting for pars. Obviously, the eagle on No. 15 was huge because Aaron had just made a birdie and the lead would have been down to two again.

“I learned a lot from watching Tiger Woods play with a lead and obviously Jack did the same things. With a four-stroke lead and a few holes left, I knew it was mine to win and all I had to do was keep making pars to finish off the victory.”

Horschel, who build his five-stroke lead by shooting 65 in round three, saw it shrink to two at one point while making only one birdie and three bogeys in the final round before the eagle helped him post a winning score of 13-under 275.

Wise, 25, whose only PGA Tour victory came in the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson, put some pressure on Horschel in the final twosome with three birdies on the back nine, but also had two bogeys while finishing off a 71.

“I thought I played great this week, it just wasn’t good enough,” said Wise, who finished in the top 10 for the fourth time this season. “The course played tough and I just didn’t do enough. I’ve been playing with the long putter for several months now and haven’t won with it yet, but I thought I putted great today, only missed one on No. 18, but it was over by then.

“I thought I played a really good round today and had a great back and forth with Billy, but then he made that 50-footer for eagle on No. 15, and that was the turning point. But I’m happy with the way I played, even though I didn’t win.”

Sixth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, who won the Memorial two of the last three years, made two birdies on a flawless back nine in a 71 and was six shots back in a tie for third with Joaquin Niemann of Chile, who made two double-bogeys on the back nine in another 71.

Max Homa of Valencia and Cal collected five birdies on the first eight holes but also had two double-bogeys on the back nine in a 69 and wound up seven down in a tie for fifth with Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills and Pepperdine, who totaled 71, Will Zalatoris (70), Denny McCarthy (72) and Daniel Berger (73).

Second-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, who won the Memorial in 2020 and held a six-stroke lead after three rounds last year before being forced to withdraw because he tested positive for Covid-19, made for birdies in a row on the front nine in a 69 and finished nine strokes behind in a tie for 10th with Sungjae Im of South Korea, who also had a 69, and Brendan Steele of Idyllwild and UC Riverside, who made three birdies on the back nine in a 71.

Third-ranked Cameron Smith of Australia, who held the lead after each of the first two rounds, struggled to a 77 to tie for 13th, while 11th-ranked Xander Schauffele, the 2021 Olympic Gold Medalist, shot 70 and wound up in a tie for 18th that also included eight-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (74) and 10th-ranked Jordan Spieth (73), and seventh-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway tied for 51st following a 71.

For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html    

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