Rookie diary: Memorable week at Pebble

Feb. 16, 2010

It was another close call for me making the cut. I played really solid after the first round at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, shooting 68 at Pebble and 69 at Monterey Peninsula CC. I just need to get off to a better start in the first round and try not to put myself behind the 8-ball.

As I mentioned last week, there were going to be some exciting things going on while I was at Pebble. Playing at three amazing courses and getting to meet celebrities was a sweet deal in itself. But to cap the week off, I got engaged Tuesday night to my girlfriend, Brittany Nelson. It was something that I had been planning since the first of the year. She was completely shocked. My parents, her mother, my aunt and uncle all flew in for the engagement. It was a special moment that we were able to share with our families.

Horschel’s Rookie Diary

Ever wonder what life is like for a PGA Tour rookie? Well, Billy Horschel is here to tell you. Horschel, 23, will file a weekly diary on Golfweek.com to give you an insider’s view of the PGA Tour. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/BillyHo_Golf.

Now for the golf. If you ever get the chance to get out to Monterey, I would highly recommend it. The Monterey Peninsula is one of the most beautiful and amazing places I have ever been. When you add the amazing golf courses to the scenic area, it makes for an unreal experience. If you aren’t in the mood for playing golf, I would recommend taking a drive on 17-Mile Drive or going to downtown Monterey and walking along Cannery Row or to Fisherman’s Wharf.

Being able to play in a pro-am format where you have celebrities and owners of global corporations is an awesome experience. I loved it. My partner for the week was comedian Jackie Flynn. It was a pleasure to play with him and get a chance to hear his story and jokes. He kept me loose and we had a great time. Also in our group was a good buddy, as well as a fellow diary writer for Golfweek, Chris Wilson. He was partnered with comedian Tom Dreesen. He opened up for Frank Sinatra for 14 years, as well as Sammy Davis Jr. His stories were fantastic.

Every pro golfer has a certain celeb or another professional athlete that they want to meet. One of mine, as well as Brittany’s, is Jeffrey Donovan from the show “Burn Notice.” We absolutely love the show and are huge fans of his. Jeff played in the group in front of mine. Before the first round, I saw him on the putting green and went over and introduced myself. We talked about the show, his golf game, the Boston Red Sox (we are both huge fans) and Tim Wakefield’s charity event in my hometown of Melbourne, Fla., a couple of weeks ago.

Brittany was a little shy and didn’t want to approach him. After two rounds had gone by, she still had not said hello. When there was a back-up on the 10th tee to start the round, Jeff’s group was still waiting to tee off. We started talking again, and I asked him if he wouldn’t mind saying hello and giving Brittany a hug. He had no problem doing this at all. Brittany was about 100 yards down the fairway, and I saw Jeff run over and give Brittany a hug. I could tell she was so happy!

The PGA Tour moves to the Mayakoba Classic this week, and even though I’m sad to leave Monterey, we head to Cancun for another amazing stop. Unlike Monterey, I have never been to Cancun. I heard the hotel that we are staying at is really nice with awesome views of the ocean. As for the golf, I know I may sound like a broken record by now, but I feel really good about my game.

I just need to get out of my way the first round because that is what is holding me back from playing great golf. I’m not going to hit many balls this week because my swing feels good. I am going to putt a lot because the putter still doesn’t feel comfortable in my hands right now. I know my stroke is good. I just need to get in a posture that allows me to feel relaxed because no matter what it is, if I feel good over it, I know I am going to hit good putts and shots.

Have another great week everyone. I look forward to telling you about Mexico and hopefully telling you about how great I played! Til then, be safe and I’ll talk to you soon.

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