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Billy Horschel Rips Golfers Who Left PGA for LIV: 'A Lot of Guys' Are 'Hypocrites'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 5, 2022

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Billy Horschel spoke out Tuesday against golfers who have criticized the PGA Tour since leaving for LIV Golf.

According to ESPN's Mark Schlabach, Horschel said the following at a press conference in anticipation of this week's Scottish Open:

"I've been really frustrated by it because there's a lot of guys that are hypocrites, that aren't telling the truth, that are lying about some things, and I just can't stand to sit here anymore and be diplomatic about it as I have been in the past. I don't fault anyone for going to play the LIV tour. I don't have any ill will for anyone going to play the LIV tour. I have ill will toward comments that they've made, comments saying that [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan doesn't listen, the PGA Tour doesn't listen to us.

"Jay Monahan and everyone at headquarters is the PGA Tour. They work tirelessly for us to reap the financial rewards and have all the opportunities that we have. At the same time, I am one of 200-plus members of the PGA Tour. I am the PGA Tour, just as 200 other members are the PGA Tour, so when you take shots at the PGA Tour and Jay Monahan, you're not just taking shots at them, you're taking shots at us."

Many notable golfers have left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf in recent weeks, including major champions such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau and Sergio Garcia.

LIV Golf is financially backed by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, and it has lured many well-known players away from the PGA Tour for myriad reasons.

In addition to offering golfers large signing bonuses and purses, there are far fewer tournaments than the PGA Tour, and the tournaments are three rounds rather than four.

Only two LIV Golf tournaments have been played thus far with Charl Schwartzel winning the first in London and Branden Grace winning the second in Portland, Oregon.

All of the golfers who have left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf have been suspended by the PGA Tour, and some have announced their resignation from the tour.

They have still been permitted to play in majors, though, with several LIV Golf players competing in the U.S. Open and set to compete in the Open Championship next week.

Several high-profile PGA Tour golfers have spoken out against LIV Golf since its advent, including Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas. Horschel is the latest and made perhaps the most pointed results yet.

Saudi Arabia has been accused of sportswashing—investing in sports teams, events and leagues in order to improve the nation's image and distract from corruption and human rights abuses. The nation has hosted Formula One races, WWE pay-per-views and other sporting events, and the Public Investment Fund acquired the Premier League's Newcastle United FC in October.

Mickelson has been the most outspoken LIV Golf player against the PGA Tour, although he has reined it in since officially joining that tour.

Back in February, Mickelson lamented the PGA Tour's "greed," labeling it "obnoxious," and calling for access to his own media rights.

Horschel, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, said there is "a little division" in the PGA Tour locker room and that "some are more upset than others."

He added that he believes LIV Golf players have "made their bed," and shouldn't be permitted to play on the PGA Tour as well. To this point, the PGA Tour has been steadfast in banning any and all LIV Golf players.

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