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Sam Horsfield: Q&A with the Florida phenom
15 Feb 2014
by Benjamin Larsen of amateurgolf.com

see also: , Sam Horsfield Profile

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Sam Horsfield is just a normal kid.

He wakes up every day at 5:30 a.m. and has breakfast. He goes to school and enjoys spending time with, “a whole bunch of friends.”

It’s when he gets on a golf course that Horsfield takes a step above normal.

The 17-year-old prodigy from Davenport, Fla. by way of England is on a tear. The winner of the 2014 New Years Invitational and 2013 Orlando City Amateur -- in which he shot a 60 -- and Florida State Amateur -- where he won by 11 shots -- is only getting started. He’s ranked No. 73 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com World Player Rankings and 41st in the U.S. rankings and he’s just a high school junior.

After his start at the Jones Cup and before he begins preparing for the upcoming Terra Cotta Invitational, amateurgolf.com caught up with Horsfield to discuss his upbringing, golf game and exactly where he wants the game of golf to take him.

amateurgolf.com: You’re originally from England. When did you move to the United States?

Sam Horsfield: I was born in and lived in England for four and a half years. We were on vacation in Florida and went back to England and the heater had broken. We decided to go back to America and see what it was like and ended up living on the golf course. It was perfect.

AGC: How did you get into the game?

SH: It’s always been me and my Dad. Before we moved over here and were on vacation, we got back from one of the Disney parks and decided to just go play. I’ve played almost every day since that day. I played a few rounds while living in England but my first event was when I was seven or eight years old and from then I started taking lessons. I’ve been with Jason Bell at Highlands Preserve for seven years.

AGC: We know you have built a relationship with Ian Poulter. How did that arise?

SH: I met a guy who went to school with Ian and introduced me to his caddie. We played nine holes here at my course (Highlands Preserve) and then went to play Lake Nona and that was about it. We’ve been friends ever since. I beat him but it wasn’t a serious match.

AGC: Where are you at in the college selection process?

SH: I’ve been looking at a few colleges but haven’t made any decisions. It’s definitely still an option. I’ve been to Florida and Florida State. Right now, I’m just playing golf and don’t really worry about that at all.

AGC: What does your schedule look like the rest of the year?

SH: I’m playing in a few Monday PGA Tour qualifiers. I have the Terra Cotta and then Sage Valley. Then in the summer, I’ll be traveling all over the country.

AGC: Take me through your game. What makes you so consistent and able to go low?

SH: I hit a lot of fairways. When I get my putter going, I can take it pretty low. I don’t make a lot of mental mistakes. My misses are usually in places where I can get up and down. I try to leave myself options. I wouldn’t say I play safe but I definitely play conservatively.

AGC: The New Years Invitational was probably your most publicized win but you have great wins at the Florida State Amateur and Orlando City. Take us through those key rounds.

SH: In the state amateur, it was at Jupiter Hills which was pretty tough. It’s usually a par 72 but they made it a par 70 for us. In the last round, I started with a three or four shot lead and on the first hole, I got up and down for par and the guy I was playing with made a seven. From there, I just putted along and let them make the mistakes. It was cool at Orlando. I don’t really remember too much about it. I was in such a zone. I remember being nine under after 12 holes.

AGC: Where do you want the game of golf to take you?

SH: Obviously, I want to be a professional golfer. But right now, I’m trying to work every day and get better. I can’t control a lot so I just try to do what I can now to dictate what happens in the future. I go to the gym and practice so that when I’m ready to go, I know that I’ll be prepared.
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