‘They Said They Wanted To Play Less’ - Horschel Blasts ‘Hypocritical’ LIV Golfers

The defending champion has hit out at certain LIV golfers in the BMW PGA Championship field

Billy Horschel 2022 BMW PGA Championship press conference
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ahead of his title defence at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, Billy Horschel has hit out of the "hypocritical" LIV Golf members that said they wanted to "play less golf" but are set to tee it up in Surrey this week. 

The 35-year-old, who became only the second American winner of the prestigious event last year, said: "The guys that have publicly stated they want to play less, those are the hypocrites. It's not every one of them. And there are a few of those hypocrites here this week because they wanted to play less but they are playing another event that's not a LIV event."

Horschel excluded English duo Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood from his "hypocritical" remarks but insisted the defected pair should not be in the field this week: "They never said they wanted to play less. I think those guys, and even though Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have been stalwarts for the European Tour, I don't think those guys really should be here," he said.

Whilst Horschel exonerated Poulter and Westwood, he openly called out his PGA Tour counterparts: "I honestly don't think that the American guys who haven't supported the PGA Tour should be here - Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch, Jason Kokrak. You've never played this tournament, you've never supported the DP World Tour. Why are you here? You are here for one reason only and that's to try to get World Ranking points because you don't have it."

Although LIV Golf has continued to attract star quality, as demonstrated by the unveiling of World No.2 and recently-crowned Open champion Cameron Smith, it remains without Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.

Horschel doubled down and added: "It's hypocritical because of what some of these guys have said, when they said they wanted to play less golf. It's pretty hypocritical to come over here and play outside LIV when your big thing was to spend more time with family and want to play less golf. So that's my stance on it."

A total of 17 LIV Golf members will tee it up at the BMW PGA Championship after a temporary legal injunction was placed on the DP World Tour that prevented it from suspending its rebellious members until the outcome of a hearing; reportedly set for February 2023.

Although the American is clear in his perspective towards the defectors, he will harbour no ill feeling should one of them hoist the trophy come Sunday afternoon: "I will congratulate them and say "well played." I'm not a sore loser at all. But let's just say, it wouldn't help [if a LIV member won] the situation we're in right now."

James Hibbitt

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.