[PHOTO: Andy Lyons]
On Tuesday at the BMW PGA Championship, defending champion Billy Horschel started naming names. Among them was Talor Gooch, one of the 15 LIV golfers in the field this week at Wentworth for the DP World Tour’s flagship event.
“I honestly don’t think that the American guys who haven’t supported the PGA Tour should be here,” said Horschel, who has become one of the loudest LIV critics in golf as of late. “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 them [on the LIV Tour].”
Kokrak actually withdrew from the event, but both Ancer and Gooch plan to tee it up, and Gooch caught wind of Horschel’s comments. After originally thinking that he could play in just one LIV event and then return to the PGA Tour, Gooch has now taken on a bit of a villain role in the whole saga. The RSM Classic winner has been unafraid to chime in on Twitter, most notably when he appeared to take credit for the PGA Tour’s prizemoney increase. He also compared the scene at the Portland LIV event to a Ryder Cup. In both instances, he was mocked relentlessly on social media.
And yet, that didn’t stop him from continuing to “clap back”, as the kids say, on Tuesday when he responded to Horschel’s call-out by calling out Horschel’s DP World Tour career in an oddly spaced quote tweet.
For anyone confused, Gooch is essentially calling Horschel a hypocrite for also coming and going as he pleased on the DP World Tour throughout his career. Playing in the events with the most money and world ranking points, a.k.a. “supporting what’s best for his career”, as Gooch writes here. He’s (gulp) not entirely wrong.
That said, Horschel is the defending champion at Wentworth, which probably played a role in him having the guts to start calling people out in the media centre. Former world No.1 Jon Rahm also took issue with the LIV golfers being in the field, which Gooch also responded to on Twitter:
What Gooch seems to be forgetting here is that he is literally only here chasing points because there are no world ranking points on the LIV tour, which all the players should have been aware of before jumping ship. Of course, Gooch wasn’t aware he was going to be suspended, so it’s possible that one slipped his mind as well.