Billy’s LIV comments are the pot calling the kettle black

Ronan MacNamara
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Billy’s LIV comments are the pot calling the kettle black

Billy Horschel (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

First things first, somebody needs to tell Billy Horschel that Jason Kokrak isn’t playing the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth this week… 

Oh Billy boy! What he said about the LIV golfers is right, however the comments came from the wrong mouth.  

To clear things up, I like Horschel. I think he’s a great character, pretty golf swing, I love the West Ham United golf bag, I think it makes him very likeable for fans in Ireland and the UK, but I think he’s barking up the wrong tree when it comes to fighting for the DP World Tour. 

According to the DP World Tour website, the defending champion at Wentworth has played in just six DP World or European Tour events since 2006 – the rest of his total of 65 events have been either PGA Tour co-sanctioned events or majors and world golf championships. 

Before he won at Wentworth last year, he was just another run of the mill American who might flock over to Europe after the FedEx Cup playoffs, granted his WGC win earlier last year boosted his profile and he is a classy golfer. But still, you’re Billy Horschel, know your place in the game. Bigger players have left the PGA Tour and the younger ones coming up will be bigger than you, if not already. 

Meanwhile – I cannot believe I am doing this – honorary member of the DP World Tour and LIV golfer Patrick Reed has played in a total of 24 events that weren’t co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour or majors and world golf championships. 

Reed took up European Tour Membership in 2015 and has retained it since, often stating how he enjoys playing on the European circuit and was awarded honorary life membership in 2019 after his Masters victory the year before. 

Before the Covid pandemic, the American made regular trips to the BMW Masters/Porsche European Open and Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open while taking in further stints at the KLM Open and Turkish Airlines Open. 

I don’t think he should be playing this week but what Horschel is saying is a little hypocritical to just become some spokesperson for the DP World Tour on the one occasion he gets a press conference microphone in front of him. 

Horschel isn’t even a DP World Tour member… 

There was a court injunction allowing some of the LIV outcasts to ply their trade in Europe if they wish starting at the Scottish Open last July, which seems wrong, but if they’re allowed then so be it. 

The likes of Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter teeing it up in Wentworth this week almost get a pass in this context because they have been great servants to European golf and so forth. 

However, they, like all the other LIV players, are here for the world ranking points to try and push themselves into the top-50 before the year is out so they can earn spots in next year’s major championships.  

It’s the younger up and coming players who are having a good season already but have the chance to earn some huge rewards this week that I feel sorry for. The DP World Tour has been starved of decent world ranking points and some meaningful prize purses and on the rare week opportunity comes knocking, it feels like it is being taken away from them. 

The headline European golfers coming over from the PGA Tour already make it harder for the players but that’s fine, you want to test yourself and try and get into the mix with your McIlroy’s, your Lowry’s, Scott’s, Fleetwoods etc. The Tour needs the biggest stars to come back every so often to help it survive, because that’s what it is at the moment, surviving, on life support. 

However, the thought of LIV golfers coming and playing for money that they don’t really care about just to steal some world ranking points doesn’t sit right with me. 

Of the DP World Tour regulars who play almost week in week out in Europe, only Thomas Pieters (36) and Ryan Fox (47) are inside the world top-50. Both players are fifth and sixth in the Race to Dubai… 

Scotland’s Ewan Ferguson has two wins and two further top-10s and isn’t even in the top-100 in the world. He only got 8 ranking points for his win at the ISPS Handa – nine for second in Denmark last week. 

What an opportunity for him this week to post a top-10 and potentially break into the top-100 which could open so many doors for him. I wonder how he would feel if he came 11th and Talor Gooch came 10th. 

Like, what is a Talor Gooch. How is he relevant? A nothing player, basically Horschel before 2021. 

Gooch has fallen from 32nd to 46th in the world so a nice consolidating top-10 finish will guarantee him a top-50 spot in the world until year’s end – what a waste. 

These players are here for nothing else but world ranking points. Gooch and Ancer have never shown an interest in the DP World Tour and if LIV get world ranking points, never will again.  

Poor old Alfredo GARCIA-HEREDIA who is the first player below the cut off line for this week. After 20 DP World Tour events this term, he is denied a spot in what could be the biggest tournament of his season. 

The Spaniard is struggling at 134th in the Race to Dubai and just making the cut this week could have proved crucial in his bid to maintain his full playing privileges for next season. 

There are seventeen LIV players taking spots in the field. I can only imagine the reaction if one of the seventeen win. Unlikely though. I’d say they’ll all be pretty knackered on the fourth day. 

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