Billy Horschel did not hold back at the BMW PGA Championship on Tuesday.
He called out several LIV Golf Invitational Series members by name ahead of the DP World Tour event at Wentworth, clearly mad that they’re trying to compete there after leaving for the controversial Saudi Arabian-backed venture.
“Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch … You’ve never played this tournament, you’ve never supported the [European Tour]. Why are you here?” Horschel said, via The Associated Press. “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 pretty hypocritical to come over here and play outside LIV when your big thing was to spend more time with family and [wanting] to play less golf.”
LIV Golf members have been suspended by the PGA Tour and from most DP World Tour events (conventionally known as the European Tour), though they are allowed in the field this week at Wentworth if they are ranked inside the top 60 in the Official World Golf Rankings — something that can’t be improved by playing in LIV Golf events. It marks one of the first times since the league’s inception that the two groups of golfers are playing in the same tournament.
LIV players who are playing this week will also be fined by the DP World Tour.
Horschel — the defending champion of the BMW PGA Championship who is listed at +2,500 to win again this year on BetMGM — wasn’t as hard on players like Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, who left for LIV in the back end of their careers. But he still doesn’t want them in the field this week.
Jon Rahm, who was listed at +800 on BetMGM to win, didn’t name any names on Tuesday. He was, though, right with Horschel in his criticism.
Seeing people left out of the field for LIV Golfers, like his friend Alfredo Garcia-Heredia, isn’t fair, Rahm said.
“What I don’t understand is some players that have never shown any interest in the European Tour, have never shown any interest in playing this event, being given an opportunity just because they can get world ranking points and hopefully make majors next year, Rahm said, via The Associated Press.
“A perfect example — a good friend of mine is the first one out on the entry list right now. It doesn’t hurt me but it does bug me that somebody who has played over 20 [DP World Tour] events this year cannot be given the opportunity to play a flagship event because some people that earned it, to an extent, are being given an opportunity when they couldn’t care any less about the event.”