BILLY HORSCHEL has branded the LIV Golf rebels “hypocrites” and accused them of “lying” as the Floridian nailed his colours to the mast with a passionate defence of the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.
Speaking ahead of this week’s co-sanctioned Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance, Horschel jumped down off the fence and insisted he “can’t be diplomatic about it anymore” as he launched a stinging criticism of those who have defected to the cash-sodden Saudi-backed series.
Golf’s increasingly bitter civil war took a fresh twist on Monday night when three LIV Golf players – Ian Poulter, Adrian Otaegui and Justin Harding – were granted an injunction against a DP World Tour sanction which had banned them from competing in East Lothian this week. The trio will now tee-up in the domestic showpiece tomorrow under turbulent storm clouds of controversy.
Horschel, who became the first American since Arnold Palmer in 1975 to win the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last season, said: “I believe they made their bed. They decided to go play a tour and they should go play that tour. They shouldn't be coming back over here to play the DP World Tour or the PGA Tour.
“To say that they wanted to also support the PGA Tour or DP World Tour going forward, while playing the LIV Tour, is completely asinine in my opinion. It's unfortunate that those guys made their bed and that's what they want to do. Leave us alone, honestly.”
While Horschel insisted he harbours no ill will towards such players for their career choice, the world No 15 made his feelings on the divisive topic perfectly clear.
He added: “They keep talking about how the PGA Tour doesn't listen. I've been really frustrated by it because there's a lot of guys that are hypocrites, that aren't telling the truth and that are lying about some things. I just I can't stand to sit here anymore and be diplomatic about it.
“The comments they make, comments that (PGA Tour commissioner) Jay Monahan doesn’t listen to us. Jay Monahan and everyone at headquarters work tirelessly for us to reap financial rewards and have all the opportunities that we have.
“I am one of the 200 plus members of the PGA Tour, so when you take shots at the PGA Tour you’re not just taking shots at them. You’re taking shots at us.”
Horschel, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, also took a swing at some of the reasons the rebels have used to explain their defections, including wanting to spend time with family.
“I’m not seeing my family for five weeks but that is what my wife and I decided,” he said. “Am I crying about it? No. I’m living my dream of trying to play golf professionally and support my family financially.
“There is a little division in the locker room and some are more upset than others. I have no ill will but I’m just tired of hearing comments that aren’t truthful.
“There are some guys that feel they are abandoning the PGA Tour and if that’s what they want to do, just go away, stay away.
“If you don’t want to be a part of this tour which has given you so many opportunities to make a name and build a financial stability for your family and everything, then that’s fine. Just stay away and we’ll be fine without you guys.”