Aug 2nd, 2020
Horsfield holds on to take Hero Open
Maiden European Tour title for the Englishman
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
The 23-year-old becomes the first home winner of the Hero Open - formerly the English Open - since Lee Westwood in 1998, and the fifth English winner in total. The win also moves him to the top of the UK Swing Rankings, from which the top ten players at the conclusion of the ISPS Handa Wales Open will earn exemptions to the U.S. Open next month.
Having endured a difficult back nine on Day Three, relinquishing the six-shot lead he had built on the front nine, Horsfield showed true determination on an exciting final day at Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club, maintaining his lead over the chasing pack for the vast part of the round.
He was knocked off the perch briefly when Detry birdied the 17th to move to the front on 18 under par. But the Belgian missed a crucial par putt at the last from four feet to drop back to 17 under alongside Horsfield.
The American-based Horsfield capitalised on his opportunity at the penultimate hole, playing the par five to perfection and picking up a shot to earn a one-one stroke advantage stepping onto the tee of the par three final hole.
A deft lag putt left him with an easy par putt to lift the trophy, signing for a four-under-par 68 and an 18 under total. Horsfield moved to 18th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, up from 43rd.
"It’s crazy, I can’t put it into words. I made a bad bogey on 15, then on 17 we wanted to leave a good five wood number and I did. 233, wind out to the left, hit a great shot there." said Horsfield after his round.
"It’s special. With everything that’s going on in the world right now, I’m thankful that the European Tour has been able to put on tournaments for us to play. I’ve been in Orlando for the last three months and felt like my game was right there, I played decently last week, had a bad finish but kept the positives from that. I played solid all week and gave myself a lot of opportunities and made one enough."
Horsfield's win concluded another successful week on the UK Swing for the European Tour's Golf for Good initiative. Forest of Arden received £50,000 from the tour to be distributed to charities of their choice - with Blood Cancer UK being awarded £20,000, and local charities Newlife and Birmingham Mind receiving £15,000 each.