Why Sam Horsfield is destined to hit the big time on the PGA Tour

Horsfield gallops home for his second European Tour title in three weeks at the Celtic Classic...

Why Sam Horsfield is destined to hit the big time on the PGA Tour
Why Sam Horsfield is destined to hit the big time on the PGA Tour

Ian Poulter had been telling us for quite some time. Sam Horsfield is going to be creating plenty of headlines in the game of golf.

If shooting a round of 14-under 59 at a testing Streamsong over in the United States in June seemed fairly impressive, the hype behind this talented 24-year-old Englishman has quickly reached new levels with two victories on the European Tour in the space of three weeks.

Why Sam Horsfield is destined to hit the big time on the PGA Tour
Ian Poulter has mentored Sam Horsfield since he was 14

Horsfield, who was mentored by Poulter ever since playing golf with him at the age of 14, landed his maiden European Tour title with a one-stroke victory at the Hero Open at Forest of Arden two weeks ago, and then despite missing the cut the week after at the English Championship, followed it up with a second win in 14 days with a convincing two-stroke win at the Celtic Classic. 

In fact, Horsfield's win on English soil is even something Poulter has failed to achieve in his illustrious career so far. 



Horsfield is one of those players that just exudes confidence, and now the wins are starting to accumulate as he vaults to a career-high 80th in the world rankings, you get the feeling his game and mentality are going to reach all-new levels. 

"He reminds me of a young Brooks Koepka," said Sky Sports on-course commentator Wayne Riley during the final round coverage in Wales. 

Okay, that is some statement to compare him to a current four-time major winner and former World No.1 so early in his career, but I honestly could not agree more. Like Brooks, he possesses effortless power, a complete golf game and a nonchalant attitude. 



"I never really felt nervous or felt uncomfortable, maybe because I was in this situation a few weeks ago," said Horsfield, after lifting the trophy at the Celtic Classic on Sunday. 

"After I missed the cut last week I was never concerned. I felt like after your first win and everything that was going on I felt a little mentally drained and I probably should have decided to take the week off.

"I just wasn’t all there but I knew my game was in good shape so I basically just forgot about last week."

Koepka also started his career on the European Tour and broke through at the 2014 Turkish Airlines Open, when finishing one stroke ahead of Poulter. That was the leg up and confidence booster the American needed to make his move onto the PGA Tour, where he now holds seven titles to his name including four majors. 

Why Sam Horsfield is destined to hit the big time on the PGA Tour
Horsfield has already been compared to a younger Brooks Koepka

Even when Horsfield faced his biggest setback of the week in Wales when taking five to get down from the side of the green at the par-3 17th on Friday, leading to a disastrous triple-bogey six, he responded by draining a 30-footer for eagle at the par-5 18th to resume order at the top of the leaderboard and maintain a one-stroke lead heading into the weekend. 

Other players would have crashed and burned, and finished in a tie for 38th come Sunday afternoon. Not our Sam, though.

Cool, calm and composed, there were to be no bogeys on the weekend with steady rounds of 68 and 67 as he ran out a two-stroke victor, once again over Thomas Detry whom he pipped for honours at Forest of Arden.

Winning is tough. Just ask Detry, who has been out there some four years now and is still seeking a first individual title on the European Tour.

Horsfield, on the other hand, does not seem fazed of being in the limelight one bit. Given a chance, he will take it and close the door. You could say similar about Horsfield's fellow English compatriots Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Wallace in recent years on the European Tour. 


Horsfield also showed another first-class display of front-running golf on a weekend, which let's face it, does not always prove much of a fun task. He attacked when needed and then played the percentages when trouble lurked.

This is one thing I really admire about Horsfield so young in his golf career is that he already appears to have an old head on young shoulders.

That was depicted none better than when laying up on the reachable par-4 15th on Sunday - no doubt a decision that was made having seen his third-round playing partner Thomas Pieters take a seven there on Saturday. 

Yes, he could have sent a 3-wood into the heart of the green to wrap things up, but he took the big number out the equation and made pars into the house as that was all that was required to seal the deal. 

Good course management is clearly an area of the game he has worked hard on with Poulter down the years. 



Okay, these European Tour fields in the 'UK Swing' have lacked a bit of world-class depth to them, with all due respect to the likes of Pieters, Detry, Joost Luiten and Andy Sullivan starting out as tournament favourites in recent weeks. However, you can only beat what is put in front of you, and Horsfield is doing exactly that. 

It would be great to see Horsfield continue to build his career on the European Tour and continue to chalk up the wins, but having lived in the United States since he was five years old and knowing there are more lucrative financial rewards and world ranking points out on the PGA Tour, you feel it's only a matter of time until the Manchester-born star takes his game back across the pond. 

'The Postman' told us 10 years ago that English golf would have a new star in Sam Horsfield. That promise has now been delivered. 

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