What you need to know about 23 year old Sam Horsfield, who became a two time European Tour winner at the Celtic Classic
Getting in to the game
Horsfield was just five years old when he picked up a golf club for the first time while on holiday in Florida with his family. They hired him a junior set of rental clubs, and he went on to shoot 167. The card from that round is still displayed in his family’s home in Florida, where they moved to from the UK when Horsfield was a child.
By the time he was nine years old, Horsfield was already shooting incredibly low scores. He carded a 63 at Pinehurst during the U.S Kids Junior Worlds, and still lost by one.
Four years later, at the age of 13, Horsfield recorded his first ever 59 at his home course, Highlands Reserve Golf Club.
Early recognition from Ian Poulter
In 2011, aged 14, Horsfield met Ian Poulter and his caddie Terry Mundy for the first time, and the Ryder Cup legend was quickly impressed.
At the time, Poulter had said: “He’s the best young player I’ve ever played with.”
“I first met Ian when I was 14,” Horsfield wrote about their relationship in his Player Blog last year.
“I got introduced to his former caddie and now manager Terry Mundy by a mutual friend of Ian's, and the first time we met we played nine holes together at Lake Nona. People say that I played better than Ian that day. I can't really remember as it was such a long time ago, but I remember us having a good time and we just got on together straight away.”
Horsfield, who is often referred to as Poulter’s protégé, maintains a close relationship with him, and is now managed by Mundy.
8 years ago I met this young lad called @hr59sam and played 9 holes at Lake Nona. This week we partnered in the @Zurich_Classic. Great week, We are T10 right now. Work hard goals can be achieved.. Have a great week in China next week on @EuropeanTour 👍🏼👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/64zkQ6WsYR— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) April 28, 2019
A successful amateur career
As a 16 year old, Horsfield made his presence known on the amateur stage when he became the youngest ever champion of the Florida State Amateur in 2013.
Horsfield notably qualified for the Walker Cup in 2015 at the start of his college career at Florida State University, but ended up withdrawing due to personal reasons.
He then spent two years at college and won four times, which included the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in 2016 – beating a field that boasted fellow European Tour professionals Jon Rahm and Sean Crocker.
In 2016, with Mundy on the bag, he reached the last 16 of the U.S. Amateur.
Qualifying School Victory
Having turned professional in 2017, Horsfield headed to European Tour Qualifying School for the first time.
He had to fight his way through second stage, but earned his card with a dominant display at Final Stage, recording a sixth consecutive round in the 60s to beat the rest of the field by eight shots on 27 under par.
A history of course records and low scores
Horsfield may have recorded his first round in the 50s when he was just a teenager, but he is no stranger to scoring low, something he has proven over the last few months.
In the past three months, Horsfield has recorded a 59 at Streamsong Black, a 58 at Champions Gate Country Club, and tied the course record of 61 during the Betfred British Masters at Close House.
Playing in the 65th European Tour event of his career, Horsfield became a winner for the first time with a one shot victory at the Hero Open.
The Englishman had entered the final round with a one shot lead, and overcame Thomas Detry in a thrilling final day battle at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club.
Horsfield – who held a six shot lead at the turn on Saturday – lead for the majority of the final round until Detry passed him with a birdie on the 17th.
The Belgian wasn’t able to save par at the last however, and Horsfield held his nerve over the closing holes with a birdie at the par five 17th and a two putt par to finish on 18 under par with a final round 68.
"It’s special," he said. "I played solid all week and gave myself a lot of opportunities and made one enough.
"Me and my caddie on the 17th tee, we said ‘you’re tied, go do this thing. You’ve been playing good all day, been playing good all week, just hit a bunch of good shots coming in’. I probably hit one of the best shots I’ve hit in my life on 17 and it paid off."
Second Tour win at the Celtic Classic
Sam Horsfield became the first player in European Tour history in to win, miss the cut in his next event, and then win again in successive weeks as he triumphed for a second time during the 2020 Celtic Classic - the fourth event of the UK Swing.
After two hours were lost at The Celtic Manor Resort due to thunderstorms in the afternoon, it was close to darkness when Horsfield sank the putt that made him the 2020 Race to Dubai's first multiple winner.
The Englishman started the day one stroke behind Scotsman Connor Syme, but claimed the outright lead by the third and consolidated that position as he completed a bogey free 67 to finish two strokes clear of Thomas Detry.
The victory took the 23-year-old to the top of the UK Swing mini Order of Merit, into the top ten on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and into the top 100 on the Official World Golf Ranking - his highest ever placing in the global standings.