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Billy Horschel books PGA Championship spot with Corales Puntacana Championship win on PGA Tour

A final round of 63 saw Billy Horschel secure victory in the Corales Puntacana Championship; the 37-year-old's first win on the PGA Tour for two years ensured he will be in the field for May's PGA Championship; watch the PGA Tour and every men's major live on Sky Sports

Billy Horschel chips from the rough along the second green during the first round of The Players Championship golf tournament Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Image: Billy Horschel sealed victory in the Dominican Republic

Billy Horschel secured his place in next month’s PGA Championship with victory in the Corales Puntacana Championship.

The 37-year-old ran off four straight birdies on the front nine to get in the mix, began to pull away with an eagle on the par-five 12th hole and closed with a nine-under 63 for a two-shot victory in the Dominican Republic.

Horschel, who started the final round three shots behind, all but sealed his triumph with an 18-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole.

"This game of golf is so fickle," Horschel said. "You can put a lot into it and not get everything you want out of it.

"I knew...I had the ability, I had the talent. I had to continue to believe the good stuff was going to come to the forefront."

Wesley Bryan, trying to go wire-to-wire, was bogey-free with four birdies and still only one shot behind late in the round. But right after Horschel made his final birdie, Bryan missed a par putt from just outside two feet and fell three behind.

Bryan birdied the 18th for a 68 to finish as runner-up, which will get him into the AT&T Byron Nelson in two weeks. He was playing on a sponsor exemption. Kevin Tway shot 69 and finished third.

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Horschel finished at 23 under and earned $720,000, winning for the eighth time on the PGA Tour and the first time in nearly two years. Along with earning him a PGA Championship spot, he likely will be in the next $20m signature event at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Those are the tournaments Horschel, a former FedEx Cup champion, was used to playing. The opposite-field events are seen as a chance for younger players to get their first win. In the case of Horschel, it was crucial to get some confidence back.

He delivered one of his best closing rounds when he needed it - the four straight birdies starting on the par-three second hole, a 31 on the front nine, the eagle on hole 12 to seize control and no bogeys over the last 30 holes of the tournament.

It was nearly a year ago at the Memorial that Horschel, the defending champion at Muirfield Village, shot 84 and was nearly in tears talking about how low his confidence had fallen. He missed the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time since 2012.

He had shown signs this year with a pair of top 10s, and now has a victory for validation. Along with getting into the PGA Championship at Valhalla, he is assured of starting next year at Kapalua in The Sentry.

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