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Talor Gooch hit the headlines shortly after playing a key part in 4 Aces' victory at the LIV Golf Series event in Portland when he compared the team format in the Saudi-backed venture to that of the Ryder Cup.
Speaking immediately after the round, the American 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."
The 30-year-old, who recently insinuated that he and fellow LIV Golf players were responsible for the recent spike in PGA Tour purses, was then subject to some ridicule from fellow American Justin Thomas.
On the eve of the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, the recently-crowned PGA Champion has once again spoken of Gooch's comments: "He's definitely incorrect saying that," Thomas said. "I did an interview yesterday or two days ago at JP's (the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor) in Ireland and I compared the crowd there to a Ryder Cup. That was in no way, shape or form a shot at him. I think he gave himself a shot enough just speaking a quote like that."
Thomas, who has made two Ryder Cup appearances and led the United States team in the singles on his debut at Le Golf National added: "You can't compare those. I mean, there's no event on Tour that's like the Ryder Cup or the Presidents Cup. Until you stand on the tee in France and there's 10,000 people and feel like you wouldn't even be able to get a golf ball on a tee because you are so nervous and your hands are shaking so bad, I probably wouldn't comment on saying that one is like the other because it's not.”
The two-time Major champion has been one of the most vocal players since the emergence of the LIV Golf Series, persistently pledging his loyalty to the PGA Tour. In a recent No Laying Up Podcast, Thomas insisted he would have more respect for the defectors if they "had the balls to say I’m doing this for the money."
The PGA Tour suspended all LIV Golf Series participants, whilst the DP World Tour issued its disobedient members with a £100,000 fine and banned them from the three co-sanctioned events - including this week's Scottish Open. Ian Poulter, Adrian Otaegui and Justin Harding will now tee it up at The Renaissance Club after their suspensions were overturned following legal action against the DP World Tour.
"I guess I was surprised but I'm not near smart enough to know legally what that means and, to be perfectly honest, I probably don't care enough to say I'm super one side or the other," Thomas said of that decision. "I can't honestly give an opinion because legally I don't know what's happening. It is what it is. At the end of the day, I'm just trying to go win a tournament and the fact that they are playing, so be it."
Thomas now faces the possibility of teeing it up alongside the 'Sour 16' - the reported name given to those that moved from the DP World Tour to the LIV Golf Series and took legal action. When asked how he would feel about that, he remained at ease: "If I know all four of them, then it will be fine. It will be easy. But, even if I don't, I don't necessarily think we're going to be having any like gamesmanship or needling each other out there.
"At the end of the day, they are here for the same reason we are and that's just trying to play well and give yourself an opportunity to win the Scottish Open. If it so happens that it comes to that point and you have an opportunity to beat one of them to win the tournament, it might be a little better, but I'm sure they would say the same thing."
Thomas and eight other players in the top-10 in the Official World Ranking are present in the field this week with only Rory McIlroy having opted to skip the event ahead of the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews.
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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