Billy Horschel And Ian Poulter Filmed In Heated Debate At BMW PGA

Were the two enjoying banter, or had Poulter taken umbridge with something said by vocal LIV critic Horschel?

Billy Horschel and Ian Poulter appeared to clash aheadd of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Billy Horschel and Ian Poulter were caught on camera having what looked like a falling out ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

The American has been pretty forthright with his views on LIV Golfers, and reiterated before starting the defence of his title that he doesn’t believe those that have joined the Saudi-backed series should be involved. Whether that was the cause of Wednesday’s supposed fallout, or West Ham fan Horschel and Arsenal supporter Poulter were talking football, we don’t know. But in the video, tweeted by @GeorgeCooperNCG, it did look like it got a little heated on the Wentworth practice area.


See more

Talking before the day before the video was shot, Horschel said he gets along well with Poulter, though he named the 46-year-old when giving his opinion that LIV players should not be at Wentworth. On Tuesday he said: “It's tough because I talked with Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood yesterday, Bernd Wiesberger, guys that I get along with very well. 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. Even though Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have been stalwarts for the European Tour, I don't think those guys really should be here.”

Horschel, who started the defence of his BMW PGA Championship on Thursday with a 4-under par 68, revealed that he does enjoy sharing banter with Poulter, and intended for that to continue. “I get along with Ian and Lee Westwood very well,” said Horschel, who was revealed as one of US captain Davis Love III’s captain’s picks for the upcoming President’s Cup yesterday.

“I have no problem with a little banter back and forth, and we can give it and take it and no one takes it personal. There are some players on that side that do take it personal and you can't have that banter.

“I'm going to talk to Bernd Wiesberger, I'm going to talk to Ian Poulter, I'm going to talk to Lee Westwood; and I'm going to talk to G-Mac. Like I'm not going to avoid those guys. I'm happy those guys made a decision. They are making a lot of money right now. I'm happy, if that's what they want to do in their life and on the golf and with their golf, I'm fine with that. And you can see there's other guys that aren't very pleased with them and that sort of just stay away from them, and don't have a conversation with them.”

Horschel had given some forthright views about LIV Golf when he was in the UK for the Scottish Open, but revealed that despite his criticisms, he had been cool with Poulter the next day when they met. Poulter was one of the LIV players to take legal action and gain a last minute entry to the Scottish Open through a court injunction.

Horschel said: “I talked to Ian the day after, and Ian is like, hey, I'm cool. I understand what you're saying. You weren't - wasn't coming at Ian, calling him a hypocrite, because like I said, he hasn't said anything for me to come back at him on.”

While accusing some LIV players of being hypocrites, and saying they joined Greg Norman’s new tour because they wanted to play less golf, only to turn up playing in between LIV events at places like Wentworth, Horschel has previously stressed that isn’t an accusation levelled at Poulter or Westwood, neither of who have talked about playing less.

Was the altercation on the practice green something in nothing, a bit of banter, or were Horschel and Poulter going at it and seriously falling out? Unless more footage emerges, or one or both opens up when they’re quizzed about it later, we might never know.

Jeff Kimber
Freelance Staff Writer

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!