UF Men’s Golf: Horschel Shines on Back Nine to Advance in U.S. Open

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

The former Gators golfer posts a bogey-free back nine on his way to an even scorecard.

After a first round that saw 21 golfers score below par, the Winged Foot superintendent promised change.

And change is what came, as round two saw only three athletes with a scorecard under par. Between realigned pins and weather conditions that included wind topping 15 miles per hour, there was an entirely new set of challenges at the prestigious Winged Foot West Course.

Billy Horschel found trouble early after teeing it up at 8:18 a.m. off of the first hole. Carding three bogeys within five holes, Horschel was housing a scorecard that was 5 over par. However, the five-time PGA TOUR champion recalibrated and carded back-to-back birdies on the eighth and ninth hole, mirroring his performance yesterday on the final two greens of the front nine.

Horschel played the back nine to perfection, shooting for par on each hole except the 15th, where he sunk a 21-yard birdie from the front, right green. He was one of three golfers to complete the back nine without a bogey, joining Dustin Johnson and Collin Morikawa. With an even scorecard at the end of round two, he sits tied for 17th and will advance through the cut and into tomorrow’s round.

After posting a course scoring average of 72.56 on Thursday, Winged Foot stood proud on its name when the scoring average increased to 74.38 today. Amateur Ricky Castillo felt the pressure but managed to come out victorious on two holes, posting a birdie on both the seventh and ninth. While not making the cut, the Gators sophomore will return to Gainesville with his first taste of a major championship and an experience that will drive his competitive nature to the next level.

Live coverage on featured groups will begin at 8 a.m. on the U.S. Open website, with Peacock broadcasting beginning at 9 a.m. (ET).