By E. Michael Johnson
By Darren Carroll
Billy Horschel and Scottie Scheffler battled swirling winds, but Horschel handled them better than Scheffler and walked away with the win in the final of the WGC-Dell Match Play, downing Scheffler 2-and-1. The win was Horschel’s first solo win on the PGA Tour since the 2017 AT&T Byron Nelson and came with a $1.82 million payday. Horschel, of course, is no stranger to walking off with a bunch of cash at the end of a tournament, having won the 2014 FedEx Cup.
Pars are normally good for everyday players, but rarely work well on Sunday on the PGA Tour. This week, however, was the exception at Austin Country Club, where the gusts baffled players on club choice and often led to conservative play. Over the 17 holes of the final match, Horschel made 14 pars, two bogeys and one birdie (a chip-in at the fifth with his Ping Sigma 2 Tyne putter), which proved to be enough for his sixth PGA Tour win.
An equipment free agent, Horschel plays the Blueprint irons from Ping, the company Horschel signed with at the start of his PGA Tour career before later moving on to PXG. The Blueprint is the company’s first forged muscleback design with a more compact shape than any iron in Ping’s recent vintage with a narrow sole and much less offset. The irons are forged in a four-step process with a specially heat-treated 8620 carbon steel. There are more than 50 steps in a 100-percent inspection process, including machined faces and grooves designed to produce consistency from club to club.
And on a day when pars are good, consistency is a pretty handy thing to have.
What Billy Horschel had in the bag at the 2021 WGC-Dell Match Play
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (Project X EvenFlow Riptide 65 6.5 TX), 9 degrees
3-wood: Titleist TSi2, 15 degrees
5-wood: Titleist TSi2, 18 degrees
Irons (3, 5-PW): Ping Blueprint
Wedges: Titleist SM8 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Tyne