Horschel Calls Out LIV Golfers For Lying

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Two-time major winner Dustin Johnson is one of the biggest names at the LIV Golf Invitational London
Two-time major winner Dustin Johnson is one of the biggest names at the LIV Golf Invitational London

Not every member of the PGA Tour is on board with how players have joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Billy Horschel didn’t hold back when speaking with reporters Tuesday ahead of the Genesis Scottish Open, calling out players who have been dishonest about their reasons for joining the controversial Saudi-backed tour.

LIV Golf has been able to poach some of the PGA Tour’s best players with lucrative signing bonuses. According to reports, the top players who are competing for LIV Golf have been guaranteed at least $100 million for joining the tour. Phil Mickelson’s deal is believed to be worth close to $200 million. 

The world’s best golfers have been hesitant to publicly admit that they went to LIV Golf simply for the money. 

“There’s a lot of guys that are hypocrites that aren’t telling the truth and lying about some things that I just can't stand to sit here anymore and be diplomatic about it as I have been in the past,” Horschel said Tuesday.

The field for LIV Golf tournaments consists of just 48 players. Those players compete for their share of $25 million in prize money. The last-place finisher earns $120,000 for the three-day event.

The PGA Tour suspended 17 players for participating in the first LIV Golf event last month. Several more golfers left the PGA Tour to make their LIV Golf debuts this past weekend in the series’ first United States tournament.

“I don’t fault anyone for going to play the LIV Tour," Horschel said. "I don’t have any ill will for anyone going to play the LIV Tour. I have ill will toward the comments that they’ve made. Comments saying that (PGA Commissioner) Jay Monahan doesn’t listen to the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour doesn’t listen to us."

“To say that they don’t listen is a complete farce.”

Some of the players who have left the PGA Tour have cited the lighter LIV Golf schedule. There are only eight LIV events in 2022, while most members of the PGA Tour are required to compete in a minimum of 15 tournaments each year. 

LIV Golf, however, is expected to expand to 14 events next year. 

“It’s ridiculous to hear some of these comments these guys make, saying, ‘Well, you know, this allows me to play less tournaments. I’ve played 30-35 weeks a year.’ No one’s forcing you to play that many events," Horschel said.

“If you want to play better or you want to play more so you get a chance to win the FedExCup, so be it,” Horschel continued. “No one has made you play that first playoff event to go miss family obligations. No one has.”

Horschel is No. 15 on the world golf rankings. The 35-year-old has seven career PGA Tour wins.

Photo: AFP / Adrian DENNIS

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