This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.
Billy Horschel has been a good-but-not-great player for almost a decade now. He's been very consistent, situated somewhere in the 30s or 40s in the world rankings for the past two and a half years. He reached a career-high No. 12 in 2014 after his otherworldly run through the FedEx Cup playoffs.
He's never made a Ryder Cup team nor a Presidents Cup team. His back-to-back playoff wins in 2014 came too late, with the TOUR Championship ending a mere 12 days before Ryder Cuppers gathered at Gleneagles in what turned out to be a a 16.5-11.5 blowout by the European squad. The teams had already been chosen.
Every year around this time, the WGC-Match Play becomes sort of a referendum on the Ryder Cup, at least from a U.S. team standpoint.
Well, Horschel certainly stated his case Sunday, knocking off Scottie Scheffler at Austin Country Club for the biggest regular-season win of his career. Another American, Matt Kuchar, finished third after beating Frenchman Victor Perez in the consolation match.
With the win and a recent runner-up at the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession, Horschel has shot up the OWGR ranks and now sits at No. 17 in the world. It's his best stretch of golf since 2014. He didn't have the hardest path through the Match Play event, facing only one top-20 player, and that was No. 4 Collin Morikawa, a Match Play rookie with a penchant for dicey putting.
So, it doesn't appear this would significantly