Billy Horschel will understand why some members of the LIV Golf Invitational Series (Arab Super League) are playing this week in the BMW PGA Championship, a flagship tournament of the DP World Tour (European Tour), formerly known as the British PGA.
The European Tour has not directly prohibited LIV Series players from competing in its events as the PGA Tour has. The American Horschel, who is defending the title won at Wentworth a year ago, is highly critical of the LIV circuit backed by Saudi Arabia, and showed his anger in the press room at the fact that some LIV Golf players who had never played in Europe is present at the Wentworth Club, just outside London.
Billy Horschel, statements
"Although Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have been stalwarts on the European Tour, I don't think those guys should be here," Horschel said. "Honestly, I don't think American guys who haven't supported the PGA Tour should be here.
Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch, Jason Kokrak... they've never played this tournament, they've never supported the DP World Tour. Why are you here? ?" Horschel wondered. According to Horschel, these players alone are in the County of Surrey this week to add valuable points to the Official World Golf Ranking that will allow some to stay in the top 50 (opens the door to the Grand Slams) and others to try to get into that range of the world ranking.
The OWGR hasn't started awarding points for LIV events yet, though an application is under review. "They're pretty hypocritical," says Horschel, "for coming here and playing outside of LIV when their big goal was spending more time with family and wanting to play less golf."
Horschel is the defending champion of the BMW PGA, where this week's purse total is $8 million. He was accompanied in his criticism by Jon Rahm, 2nd in the first tournament in 2019, who explained that he understands that the DP World Tour has not prohibited players like Poulter, Westwood and his friend Sergio García because, unlike the PGA Tour, the European circuit continues needing your presence.
"I don't necessarily disagree with that," Rahm said. "What I do disagree with is some of the names that have never expressed any support for the DP World Tour, any interest, or the event at all, and giving those players an opportunity by taking it away from players who do.
dedicated to the European Tour. I think it's wrong." Rahm said it was a mistake that players who had never competed in Europe could qualify ahead of, for example, his friend Alfredo Garcia-Heredia, who has played 20 DP World Tour events this season and is the first reserve.
"I'm not going to name anyone, but the only reason they're here is for the world ranking points, hoping they can finish in the top 50 and then play certain majors," said the Basque. "It's crystal clear. And if they're saying otherwise, they're not fooling anyone"