Billy Horschel says LIV Golf 'hypocrites' should not be playing in BMW PGA

Billy Horschel, the defending BMW PGA champion, excluded the likes of Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter as he took a fresh swipe at LIV Golf players for being “hypocrites”.

Defending champion Billy Horschel talks to the media during a press conference prior to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.
Defending champion Billy Horschel talks to the media during a press conference prior to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.

But, at the same time, the American believes the two European stalwarts shouldn’t be among a posse of rebels teeing up in this week’s DP World Tour flagship event at Wentworth.

Horschel didn’t hold back when he was asked about LIV Golf during the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in July – he called them ‘hypocrites' and accused them of 'lying' – and was equally vociferous in his latest chat on the topic.

Seventeen LIV Golf players, led by Westwood, Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Patrick Reed, are teeing up in this week’s Rolex Series event in Surrey, where the field also includes pro-PGA Tour and DP World Tour players Rory McIlroy, John Rahm and Viktor Hovland.

“It's tough because I talked with Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood yesterday, Bernd Wiesberger, guys that I get along with very well,” said Horschel, who joined Arnold Palmer as the only American to win the PGA Championship with his title triumph 12 months ago.

“As I always said, I don't fault them for making that decision. But you made a 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 forward to really help out the PGA Tour, but especially the DP World Tour that needs these guys to play more often.

“Even though Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have been stalwarts for the European Tour, I don't think those guys really should be here. I honestly don't think that the American guys who haven't supported the PGA Tour should be here.

“The Abraham Ancers, the Talor Goochs, the Jason Kokraks: 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 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.

“I wouldn't call Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter hypocrites because they never said they wanted to play less. The guys that have publicly stated they want to play less, those are the hypocrites. I mean, just be clear on that.

“It's not every one of them. And there are a few of those hypocrites here this week because they wanted to play less, but they are playing another event that's not a LIV event.”

Horschel added of his chat with Westwood and Poulter at Wentworth: “At that point, I didn't think I was going to say they shouldn't be here. I was still trying to figure that out.

“I've talked to a lot of the other full members that have been here for ten, 15 years, Some of those guys are sort of okay with it, but then you've got the hard-line guys that don't believe they should be here.”

Horschel also hit out at agents, with Open champion Cameron Smith having made his LIV Golf debut in Boston last week after he joined the rebel circuit for upwards of $100 million.

“I think some of these agents led these guys down a bad road. And when I say a bad road, they didn't give them the entire information and they didn't play devil's advocate the way they should have,” he said.

Garcia is making his first appearance on the DP World Tour since launching an expletive-laden rant in the locker-room during the BMW International Open in Munich in June that was overheard by Bob MacIntyre.

Referring to that, Horschel said: “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. Obviously some did but he said some other things.

“Obviously I'm not going to say what he said because I wasn't in there, so it was secondhand information that I heard. But some of those players in there told me, you know, I was pretty shocked at what Sergio said in that locker room.”

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