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Billy Horschel branded LIV Golf rebels “hypocrites” – and name-checked several he feels should not be playing the BMW PGA Championship.
A vocal critic of the Saudi-funded breakaway series, Horschel has made his views clear in the past when it comes to players jumping ship.
Speaking ahead of his title defence at Wentworth, Horschel named Talor Gooch, Jason Kokrak and Abraham Ancer as three he believes should have been stopped from playing.
“I don’t think those guys should be here,” he said.
“I don’t think the American guys who haven’t supported the PGA Tour should be here. The Abraham Ancers, the Talor Gooches, the Jason Kokraks.
“You’ve never played this tournament, you’ve never supported the DP World Tour. Why are you here? You’re here for one reason only and that’s to try and gain world ranking points because you don’t have that.
“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.”
Horschel is not the only player to have declared his unease at playing alongside his LIV counterparts.
Both Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick admitted they were unhappy about sharing a field with those who jumped across to the rebel tour.
Tour pros are understood to be divided on the subject.
“There is a mixed feeling here,” Horschel said.
“There are some guys that hate it, don’t think that the LIV guys should be here and there are some guys that are in the middle. There are some guys who understand and feel that these guys have built the DP World Tour and have been part of Ryder Cups,” Horschel said.
“My stance on this is that when those guys were trying to figure out if they were going to the LIV Tour or stay with the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour, they had to factor in that they knew world ranking points wouldn’t come right away or not come at all.
“They had to factor in that they knew they were going to be suspended from the PGA Tour and possibly the DP World Tour, that they may not be in majors. By factoring that in, they factored in what the financial reward needed to be for them to leave.
“I don’t fault them for making that decision, but you made the decision that is going to weaken both tours and that’s a tough way to go about it. Those guys aren’t going to play enough going forwards to help the PGA Tour and especially the DP World Tour.”
Despite his opposition to the breakaway tour, Horschel insisted he is still happy to speak to several of those who have made the switch, such as Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell.
But he admitted he had been “shocked” by Sergio Garcia’s well-publicised rant at the BMW International Open in Germany earlier this year.
“Obviously Sergio had a kick-off in the locker room and he said certain things that actually didn’t make it out into the public. Some did but he said some other things,” he added.
“I was pretty shocked at what Sergio said in that locker room.
“But from what I’ve seen, the guys like me, I’m going to talk to Bernd Wiesberger; I’m going to talk to Ian Poulter, and I’m going to talk to Lee Westwood; and I’m going to talk to G-Mac.
“I’m not going to avoid those guys. I’m happy those guys made a decision. They are making a lot of money right now. I’m happy, if that’s what they want to do in their life and with their golf, I’m fine with that.”
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