AUSTIN, Texas – Billy Horschel had just enough gas in the tank to win Sunday’s Match Play with plenty of help from Scottie Scheffler, in a sloppy finish to golf’s longest week.
Horschel had just one birdie in the championship matchup, a chip from 40 feet on the fifth hole, but left the big mistakes for Scheffler, 24, to win 2 and 1.
Horschel, who had never reached the weekend in his previous four World Golf Championship appearances, had six of seven more games over 122 holes at the Austin Country Club. He won for the sixth time on the PGA tour and his fifth singles title.
“It was one of those days where I didn’t play very well,” admitted Horschel, who was still smiling due to the result. “It was a difficult one.”
The result ended a long streak for Scheffler, a Texas graduate who had to beat three former Match Play champions and two top-10 golfers to reach the championship match.
He had the support of the fans in Austin, who occasionally yelled at him “Hook ’em” (the phrase with which the students of the University of Texas greet each other) and thanked him.
Matt Kuchar won the consolation match against Frenchman Victor Pérez. Kuchar was looking to tie Tiger Woods’ record with four appearances in the championship match, but failed to make putts longer than three feet in the semifinal loss to Scheffler.
Pérez was not much better. He lost three of the last nine holes to Horschel by having a bogey or worse.
Scheffler, who had 15 birdies over 31 holes to beat Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm on Saturday, had just four birdies in two games Sunday.