Billy Horschel shot a final-round 65 to win the BMW PGA Championship – the European Tour’s version of the PLAYERS.
Afterwards the 34-year old American criticized U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Steve Stricker for not giving him the respect and courtesy of at least a phone call to tell him he hadn’t made the team.
Horschel said, “It sucks not making the team… I was a little gutted I didn’t get a call this week. 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’d at least get that.
“So there was a little more added motivation this week for that.”
Stricker has been under fire since making his captain’s picks on Monday – first for snubbing Patrick Reed and choosing Scottie Scheffler, who’s never won, and finished 14th in the standings.
Now Stricker is taking incoming shots from Horschel, who actually beat Scheffler in the WGC-Match Play event.
It was assumed Stricker called all the players in contention – say inside the top 20. Horschel finished 17th in the standings and performed well at East Lake, posting a solo-7 in the gross standings, ahead of every captain’s pick but Xander Schauffele (solo 3rd).
This development further damages the management style of Stricker, who has mainly been protected by what amounts to a state-run golf media.
During his announcement on Wednesday, Stricker made a note to prop himself and say he called “a lot of guys” to let them know they hadn’t been selected.
“I felt like they deserved hearing it from me,” said Stricker. “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.
“Yeah, some were easier than others. Again, some of them were pretty difficult. The difficult part is I feel like I’m friends with a lot of these guys and to tell them that they are not part of something that they are dreaming to be a part of is pretty difficult.”
How Horschel wasn’t one of “the guys” who received a call – when he won the tour’s only match play event of the season, finished 17th in the final standings, and sits 18th in the world rankings – is mind boggling and damages Stricker’s personal and professional reputation.