• Ryder Cup

Horschel: Put me up against Poulter

Alex Perry
September 1, 2014
Billy Horschel believes his Walker Cup exploits could help his case for a Ryder Cup place © Getty Images

Billy Horschel has issued a come-and-get-me plea to American Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, saying he would love to "duke it out" with good friend Ian Poulter at Gleneagles.

Horschel burst onto the PGA Tour scene last year with his first victory at the Classic of New Orleans, as well as eight other top-10 finishes - including a tie for fourth at the US Open.

Things have not quite gone the way the 27-year-old would have liked this season, with only two top-10s. But he has finished second in Monday's Deutsche Bank Championship as Watson, who announces his picks on Tuesday, weighs up the options.

Ryder Cup deadline day

Will Ian Poulter's formidable Ryder Cup record be enough? © PA Photos
  • European captain Paul McGinley says his three Gleneagles picks will come from a group of five players: Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Stephen Gallacher, Luke Donald and Francesco Molinari. But who should the Irishman take? ESPN's Alex Perry gives his verdict on the hopeful quintet.
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Horschel would be a Ryder Cup rookie, but he was part of the winning teams in amateur versions of the event - the Walker Cup. And he told ESPN that he is exactly the kind of player the US team needs as they bid to win just their second Ryder Cup since the turn of the century.

He said: "Do I think I can add something to the team? Sure. Do I think I can bring some emotion and fire to the team? Sure. That's something that we miss.

"At the Walker Cup I was compared to Sergio Garcia in the way I got fired up and added a bit of spunk to the team."

Horschel revealed he would to go up against Europe's Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter if he was to get the call from Watson.

"Poults is a good friend of mine," he added. "I love him to death and he's been a very good guy to me - so it would be fun to see two fiery guys duke it out on Ryder Cup Sunday.

"Everyone says they would love to see Poulter and I go up in the singles matches.

"When I was on the Walker Cup team in 2007 - facing a team that included Rory McIlroy - we had not won on foreign soil in more than a decade and we are in a similar situation in the Ryder Cup, which we haven't won away from home for a while.

"I'm not saying I'm the saviour, but if I were to make the team or to get picked, then I could help them out a lot.

"I'm just a guy that loves to play the game with a lot of energy and can bring a bit of fire that I think the team may miss."

Speaking of the US team's chances of winning a first Ryder Cup on foreign soil since 1993, Horschel added: "The American side is looking pretty good, but there have been Ryder Cups in the past where the US team look stronger only for you guys to take care of us pretty handily.

"It's something that the European team has figured out that we haven't - and they're obviously not handing that secret over to us any time soon.

"But our team could be young, and that could be a good thing. Maybe it's time for a transition. In any professional sports team where you may have a great team for many years but there comes a time where you have to give a chance to some stars who are up and coming and are going to be the future of the team - and that could be this year. "

Billy Horschel was talking to ESPN on behalf of his club manufacturers PING. Visit PING.com for more.

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