This week's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth has been at the center of some controversy as there are 18 LIV golfers set to play in the event.
The DP World Tour initially tried to suspend them from competing, but they are currently permitted to play due to a temporary injunction, with a full legal hearing on the matter still to come. A number of high-profile players - including FedEx Cup winner Rory McIlroy and reigning US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick - have made it clear they are opposed to the presence of the LIV players in the field. On Sunday, Paul McGinley was interviewed in the Sunday Times on a wide range of subjects, including the ongoing civil war in golf caused by the arrival of the breakaway circuit, and echoed similar sentiments. "The key to the anger felt by the ordinary, non-LIV members of the DP World Tour is that these guys, who've taken the big money from LIV, think they're entitled to come back and take the places of players who support our tour week-in, week-out," he said. "The LIV players don't turn up for €2 or €3 million tournaments in the Czech Republic or Switzerland, but they come for the £6 million tournament at Wentworth. This has led to a lot of resentment. Keith [Pelley] has spoken to virtually every one of our players. Not one wants the LIV guys in our tournaments." McGinley posted a link to the article on his Twitter account, only to receive pushback from the likes of Gonzalo Fernández-Castano, Scott Hend and Romain Langasque, who were quick to point out that, contrary to McGinley's statement, not all DP World Tour players were in agreement on this issue.
— Gonzalo Fdez-Castaño (@gfcgolf) September 4, 2022
"Please don't speak on behalf of all the membership @mcginleygolf. I have no problem whatsoever with the @LIVGolfInv players playing on the @DPWorldTour," Spaniard Fernandez-Castano tweeted back at McGinley. Frenchman Langasque added: "Same for me actually! No problem seeing them." And Australian Hend tweeted: "Trust Me... Paul doesn't speak for every member... It's not like we aren't mates... Just because they went and played for a better offer... Give it a rest... A majority wouldn't be able to play if they had of rectified the entry Criteria/Category." McGinley chose to reply to Fernandez-Castano's tweet and admitted he had misspoken in the Times article. "Gonzalo makes a good point. I should have been more precise & clearer in that particular quote. It should have read that 'every player past & present that I've spoke to'. Obviously he wasn't one that I'd spoken to." Nevertheless, the LIV golfers can definitely expect a frosty reception from at least some of the players at Wentworth this week, a situation that has already prompted two-time major winner and LIV Golf member Martin Kaymer to withdraw from the tournament to avoid going where "he's not welcome". Most of the eligible LIV rebels will be in attendance, however, with Sergio Garcia probably summing up their sentiments best. "There will be friction there," he told Golf Digest. "What I'm going to do is support the European Tour and that's all I can do. Whoever doesn't like it, too bad for them."
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