DUBLIN, Ohio ( Associated Press) — Billy Horschel ended any doubts about his win at Muirfield Village with an eagle putt across the green on the 15th hole that sent him to a four-stroke victory Sunday at the Memorial. .
Horschel was bidding to a five-shot lead at the start of the sun-soaked final round and no one came within two shots of him. He closed with 72 strokes, par from the field.
There were some nervous moments.
Horschel’s streak of 49 straight holes without a bogey came to an end on the sixth hole. He didn’t get his first birdie until the 10th hole. He had to battle for a bogey on the par-3 12th hole, which cut his lead over Aaron Wise to two.
Before the long eagle, Horschel saved himself with a pair of 12-foot putts on the 13th hole and 8-foot putts on the 14th.
And that was when it all ended. From the front of the green on the par 5 15th hole, Horschel’s putt from 55 feet (16.7 meters) had perfect line and ideal speed, curving left and landing on the left side of the cup, while she raised her arms silently in quiet, incredulous celebration.
“Just like you, great man,” Horschel told host Jack Nicklaus when it was all over.
His lead was four shots and it was a comfortable ending. Horschel finished with 275 strokes, 13 under par, and earned $2.16 million, the biggest check of his career. Like any big tournament, victory gets him a three-year waiver.
Horschel said he learned from Tiger Woods and Nicklaus that he didn’t need to do anything special with a five-shot lead unless the moment called for it. He did it on the 15th hole when Wise holed out from 2 feet for birdie.
“If I had to do something special, I was ready for it,” he said. “And getting it was huge.”
Wise did what he could in such a difficult final round, that no one bettered the 69 shots. He and Joaquin Niemann were the only ones to put any pressure on Horschel.