Defending champion Billy Horschel enjoyed an eventful week at Wentworth before a ball had even been struck. The good thing about the American, who was named as a captain's pick for the Presidents Cup later this month, is that he won't fudge an answer when asked a straight question.
There were 15 LIV Golf players in Surrey and Horschel had issue with their involvement, naming names and not mincing his words. To be clear the LIV players don't receive world ranking points and, as well as the prize pot (which pales into insignificance these days), they were in Surrey to pick up some much-needed ranking points.
"There's some guys that hate it; don't think the LIV guys should be here. There are some guys that are sort of in the middle, and there are some guys that understand and feel that, 'hey, these guys have helped build the DP World Tour and the European Tour, and been part of Ryder Cups and helped the European Tour be so successful in The Ryder Cup', and they are OK with it," explained Horschel.
I wonder what Billy Horschel and Ian Poulter are talking about here 👀🥊 pic.twitter.com/kFThmGCKsR— George Cooper (@GeorgeCooperNCG) September 7, 2022
"My stance is that when those guys were trying to figure out whether they were going to go to the LIV Tour or stay with PGA Tour, DP World Tour, they had to factor in that they knew that world ranking points were going to maybe not come right away or not come in at all. They had to factor in that they knew they were going to be suspended from the PGA Tour and possibly DP World Tour; that they may not be in majors. By factoring that in, they factored in what the financial reward for them needed to be for them to leave these tours to go join that tour."
"If they didn't or they were told something different from the LIV people, which it's very clear LIV told those guys you will not be suspended from either one of those tours, you will still have access and we have looked at it and we are going to in our lawsuits; it's sort of naïve for those guys to think that that's how it was truly going to happen. I honestly don't think that the American guys who haven't supported the Tour should be here.
"The Abraham Ancers, the Talor Goochs: You've never played this tournament, you've never supported the DP World Tour. Why are you here? You are here for one reason only and that's to try to get world ranking points - because you don't have it. It's hypocritical because of what some of these guys have said this week when they said they wanted to play less golf. It's pretty hypocritical to come over here and play outside LIV when your big thing was to spend more time with family and want to play less golf."
Gooch spoke to National Club Golfer in response to Horschel's words and, having called him out on Twitter, he added that he had even been thanked for his efforts.
“I’ve even gotten a handful of ‘thank yous’ from guys for what we are doing for professional golf. It’s been all good. I think it’s a bit of a narrative that the media are trying to push all this friction. There might be a little bit here and there, but in general, everyone gets along well."
Billy's DP pro career 2013-today.— Talor Gooch (@TalorGooch) September 6, 2022
64 events. 58 major/WGC/2022
Scottish(pga tour event). 6 pure DP
events in total(I wonder how many he
got $ to play)and his first non maior/
WGC P appearance 2019 BMW(won
fedex in 2014). He supports whats
best for his career. Like all of us do 😁 https://t.co/vJlrZi9y9u
As for his countryman he added that they had actually spoken ahead of their fall-out.
“I don’t like when people call me out individually, when they’re trying to stand on a higher ground. I just don’t think it’s real. That’s why I called him out. If you’re going to call me out for not supporting the DP World Tour, let’s call it what it is. How supportive have you truly been? That’s why I went into a deep dive about his history here.
“It’s easy for him say, ‘What are you doing here?’ One, I’m chasing after world ranking points just like all the other professional golfers in my position has done forever. Two, I haven’t been able to support the DP World Tour because I haven’t had the opportunity to yet.
“It was bothersome to me because we had chatted that morning. If he had had those feelings, he should have said it to me to my face, rather than have gone to the media to say it. I get that they’re annoyed, but that’s also the nature of the game. Guys qualify for certain events, and it then pushes other guys out. It’s happened to me on different tours.”