American star Billy Horschel got his first look at Kingsbarns yesterday, in the very special company of Dad, Billy Horschel Snr.
“He has had a great influence on my career, so it’s nice to get to play with him here in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship,” said Billy Jnr.
“It’s his 70th birthday on Friday and I thought it would be a great present to bring him here. It’s just a beautiful place. You get a thrill just driving here.”
The Alfred Dunhill Links is played over three world famous Links courses, the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.
Billy Jnr, world No.18, had never played Kingsbarns and the two Horschels decided to check it out in a practice round ahead of the Championship which begins on Thursday. “I saw Kingsbarns on TV during the 2017 Women’s Open and people were just raving about it.”
Billy Snr introduced his son as a young boy to golf at the Summit View Golf Club in Grant-Valkaria, Florida. The course is overgrown today, but played a significant part in teeing up Billy Jnr’s career.
Billy Jnr, who won the BMW PGA at Wentworth two weeks ago, will be going for a memorable double this week with a second win on the European Tour. But his big question is how will he handle a Links course?
“I have the imagination for it, I think, but will the ball bounce the way you want it to? But I’m getting more experience. I did well and made the cut in The Open at Royal St George’s and the Scottish Open, but just didn’t make the putts.”
Billy is certainly keen to expand his experience around the world of golf. He said: “Buddy Alexander, the 1986 US Amateur Champion, was my college golf coach. He told me I have to go around the world to play golf. So it’s been a dream of mine to do that: to be a world golfer. I haven’t done much up to now, but that’s what I want to do.”