Written by
Joy Chakravarty
Feb 28 2024
- 5 MIN
Majesticks' Horsfield ready for redemption

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Hard-working Sam Horsfield doesn’t expect anything to be handed over on a platter, but he’d be happy to make an exception at this week’s LIV Golf Jeddah at Royal Greens – he strongly believes the golf course owes him one.

In the 2022 Saudi International at the same course, Horsfield opened with a stunning 64, and then had to withdraw at the halfway stage with a back injury.

In the 2023 Saudi International, the 27-year-old from Manchester, England, started with a solid 67, and it was in the bunker on the eighth hole during Friday’s second round that he damaged his hip.

It would later force Horsfield to withdraw from LIV Golf Adelaide and miss action for nearly five months after undergoing a hip surgery last year.

“If there is one golf course that I feel like owes me a little bit, it is this,” said Horsfield, who has had a solid start to the 2024 season with a tied 17th place in Mayakoba and tied 26th in Las Vegas.

“I really enjoy this golf course. It is a good, strong course. I have always played pretty well around here. I was in second position one year when I had to withdraw. But now that I am feeling much better physically, I feel like it’s gonna be a good week.”

Horsfield dashed off from Las Vegas to Kuala Lumpur, where he played the IRS Prima Malaysian Open on the Asian Tour with an eye on one of the three Open Championship spots up for grabs there.

“I played good golf in Malaysia. I must have missed only 9-10 greens in regulation all week and a few fairways, but I struggled with my putter. In the end, David (Puig) beat me by nine shots, but I needed 17 more putts than him during the week,” said Horsfield.

“So, there’s a lot of room to improve on the putting, which I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks. I spent the last week in Dubai with Lee (Westwood). We were there practicing and getting ready for Jeddah and Hong Kong. It was nice, got acclimatized to this time zone and the weather.”

Horsfield is reaping the rewards of spending hours in the gym during his rehab after the surgery. Not only has it helped him come back to golf quicker, but as Co-Captain Ian Poulter remarked, the youngest member of Majesticks was “in the best shape of his life”.

“Missing five-six months last year was a bit of a bummer, but during that time, my only focus was getting healthy and getting the body feeling right and I am definitely feeling good,” Horsfield agreed.

“During my rehab, I had nothing to do besides going to the gym. I was spending four hours a day in there for 5-6 days a week. I was able to gain a lot of muscle and lost quite a bit of weight in a good way.

“I’ve gained distance for sure. When my hip was bad, I always had a left miss going, because I just couldn’t get off my right side. So, the swing has changed a little bit as I worked with my coach (Sean Foley) over the winter, just trying to swing more around my left side, which I’m now able to do.

“And then I started working with Steve McGregor and he has changed my mentality about eating and the way of life, in general. He made me understand what one needs to eat and how it makes one feel.

“I am not eating burger and fries all the time. It used to be my favorite... still is. But I just don’t eat it nearly as much. I never ate vegetables before and I have now added vegetables into my diet a little bit. All this has made me feel a lot better with myself. All good positive changes, and I think it is also showing on how I play my golf.”

Horsfield then revealed another key ingredient in his successful comeback – the trust and belief his three Co-Captains have shown in him.

“Three legends of the game who believe in you and want you to do well… it’s priceless. I’ve learned so much from them without knowing that I’ve learned so much from them. They have influenced me on and off the golf course,” said Horsfield.

“I would not be in the position I am without Westy. He introduced me to Steve and that’s how this whole change came about. It’s a lot more than what you see on the golf course. We’re doing stuff and hanging out in the evenings. I know they’re always there for me when I need them.

“They have pretty much done everything in the sport. Westy was a world No. 1. Henrik is a major champion. And Ian has that never-say-die attitude. It’s a privilege and an honor. And it’s really cool.”

As a team, Majesticks did not get off to the best start, half its members struggling with a bout of food poisoning in Mayakoba. They finished ninth in Mexico, and improved to seventh in Las Vegas.