Rory McIlroy and Billy Horschel? Few even knew there was anything between then.
Their bad blood came about in the 2007 Walker Cup at Royal Co. Down where Britain & Ireland scored a 12½-11½ victory over the Americans.
Horschel, who played college golf at Florida, was matched against McIlroy three times, scoring a 1-up singles win over the Irishman on the first day and teaming with Rickie Fowler to beat McIlroy and Rhys Davis of Wales 2&1 in foursomes on the morning of the second day.
However, McIlroy scored a critical 4&2 singles victory over Horschel on the afternoon of the final day and admitted afterward that more than a little personal satisfaction went along with it.
“It was great to win, especially against him,” McIlroy said. “I don’t really have much time for him, to be honest.”
McIlroy was not pleased with Horschel’s animated behaviour during the matches, a bit like the Americans’ disdain for some of Garcia’s antics in the Ryder Cup.
Horschel, who captured the Zurich Classic of New Orleans earlier this year for his first PGA Tour win, said it’s all in the past.
“He didn’t think the way I conducted myself on the golf course was right, but we were young,” the now 26-year-old Horschel said. “We were immature. I consider him a buddy. There’s no spat at all, no hard feelings at all.
“It was water under the bridge a long time ago.”
Horschel even played a practice round with McIlroy and Woods the day before the tournament started last week at Merion.