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Talor Gooch says he's rightfully taken some heat after comparing LIV Golf to the Ryder Cup during celebrations alongside his winning 4Aces team at the second event in Portland.
Amid the celebrations, Gooch said: "I haven't played a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup, but can't imagine there's a whole hell of a lot of difference." He has been criticised, or mocked, publicly by various players including Justin Thomas.
"Yeah, a bunch of players came up, and they're like really? Really? I was like, hold on a second, guys. Give me a little break. I just won. I was in the moment. I might have gotten a little aggressive with the comments," Gooch said at the 150th Open.
"It was just I was in the moment with them. We were pumped. I watch F1. I was so pumped to be able to spray champagne like they do in F1. I was in the moment. Maybe a little aggressive of a comment. Rightfully so, I've taken a little bit of heat for it."
Video: What is LIV Golf?
Gooch is seven-under-par after 36 holes at St Andrews, where a number of his LIV colleagues are also featuring in the upper echelons of the leaderboard. He thinks that the criticism of the players has "banded us together."
"I think there's some strong players, no doubt," he said. "The credentials of everyone speaks for themselves. It's obviously cool for me to see other guys that are out there playing well. We've caught a lot of flack for what we've done here recently. I think one thing that cannot be questioned is the quality of players that are there.
"Everybody, it feels like, is against us, and that's okay. It's kind of banded us together, I think."
Gooch could also potentially be playing in his final Major, as crazy as that sounds. A report from Sportsmail this week stated that there is a possibility of LIV players being banned from next year's Majors. He obviously hopes this week won't be his final Major and wants the organisations to worth together better but joked that "it would be a cool one to go out on."
"I mean, it would be a cool one to go out on," he said. "Hopefully not, though. I'd like to think that the Majors would like to have the best players in the world playing in their events in spite of everything that's going on, but obviously that's not up to me. It's up to other people. Hopefully this won't be my last one.
"Yeah, I've said it from the get-go, I don't think the golf world benefits from this continued butting of heads. I think there's a way to resolve this. I'm not the guy to do that. I'm not the guy that decides that. But I think there's a way to resolve it that benefits everybody involved from the fans to the players, to the organisations and everyone. I think there's a way to do that."
Gooch currently ranks 40th in the world, having won his maiden PGA Tour title at last year's RSM Classic. He's making his second Open appearance this week.
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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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