FedExCup champion arrives for CIMB Classic

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KUALA LUMPUR: Billy Horschel’s life has changed since his last trip to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic last year, where he finished tied for 11th. Now, heading into the 2015/15 season, he is tipped as the one to beat.

His recent accolades include a runner-up finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship, winning the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola in successive weeks to claim the FedExCup title. And on Sept 16, just two days after winning the PGA Tour’s ultimate prize (and the US$14 million (RM45.92 million) that came with it), Horschel and wife Brittany welcomed their daugher Skylar Lillian.

“It’s pretty crazy to think at 27 years old, I’ve experienced all of that in such a short time span. I may not do another great thing in my life but that is pretty cool,” said the three-time PGA Tour winner yesterday.

The reigning FedExCup champion is now in Malaysia for the CIMB Classic from tomorrow to Sunday at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) as part of his 2014/15 campaign on the PGA Tour.

“[Kuala Lumpur] is unbelievable. The people are really nice. I love the food, it is really good,” Horschel said. “They offer a variety of cultures in their food selections and the golf course is beautiful, probably one of the top golf courses we play on the Tour. I’m happy to be back here and looking forward to another great year, hopefully we can make it a victory this year.

“As much as I wanted to sit back and enjoy what I did at the end of the season, at the same time I’m not one to look back and cherish stuff. I’m always thinking about the next level,” Horschel said.

Horschel at the KLGCC yesterday.

“There’s a tonne of stuff I want to achieve over the span of my career. I would love to win all four Majors before my career is over. A short-term goal is to win a Major this season and to defend the FedExCup title. I would like to do that because no one has done it yet. There has only been one guy to win two FedExCups. But I want to be the first guy to win it back-to-back.”

With that ambition set, Horschel has been working on improving his game. Known on the Tour for being a perfectionist, he’s often the first and last one on the range.

“I’m still a guy who wants to get better and improve, although I try to be a little less hard on myself, not to be nearly as much of a perfectionist that I sometimes fall back into.

“Also, the new PING G30 driver that I put in play at the PGA [Championship] has been a big help.” Horschel said. “I’ve gained some yardage and with that have been able to hit some shorter clubs into greens.” — CIMB Classic

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 29, 2014.