Tempers seem to flare up between Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel as they protest at each other on the putting green at the BMW PGA Championship… after the American slammed ‘hypocritical’ LIV golfers for their performance at Wentworth this week
- LIV Golf members have been suspended from the PGA Tour and most DP World Tour events
- But they can play at Wentworth if they are in the top 60 in the world
- Billy Horschel is unhappy defending his title against LIV Golfers this week
- The American appeared to be involved in a heated exchange of blows with Ian Poulter
The simmering tension between rival factions in the Gulf Civil War rose in a tense slugfest between Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel on the putting green at Wentworth on Wednesday.
It came just 24 hours after the American and defending champion named Poulter among several members of the LIV Golf Invitational Series ahead of the BMW PGA Championship, apparently upset at being allowed to compete on the DP World Tour after departing a controversial Saudi-led Arabia supported company.
And the dispute seemed to lead to an open exchange of views between the two players on Wednesday.
George Cooper of the National Club Golfer, who witnessed the encounter, said: “Although they were too far away to understand what was being said – and my lip-reading skills just aren’t what they used to be – certainly didn’t see it so from a friendly togetherness.
“I reached out to Poulter for comment afterwards, but he (politely) declined.”
Tempers seemed to flare up between Ian Poulter (R) and Billy Horschel (L) at Wentworth
The pair engaged in a candid exchange of views on the putting green on Wednesday
LIV Golf members have been suspended from the PGA Tour and most DP World Tour events, although they are allowed on the field at Wentworth this week if they rank within the top 60 in the official world golf rankings – something that cannot be improved by attending LIV golf events.
Horschel was most emphatic in his criticism, naming Lee Westwood, Poulter, Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch and Bernd Wiesberger as players who have their cake and eat it.
World No. 15 Horschel said: “They have signed a contract with LIV, taking into account that they may not get any of the rewards that they had on the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour. They put a prize number on it. This is the contract they signed with LIV.
The American is unhappy with defending his BMW PGA Championship title against LIV Golfers
“I’ve spoken to Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood and Bernd Wiesberger, guys I get on well with. I don’t blame them for making that decision. But you’ve made a decision that will weaken both tours.
“Even though Westwood and Poulter have been loyal for the European Tour, I don’t think those guys should really be here. I don’t think the Americans who didn’t support the PGA Tour should be here.
“Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch – you never played this tournament, you never supported the DP World Tour. Why are you here? They’re only here for one reason and that’s to try and earn world ranking points.
Jon Rahm also struck at the LIV golfers who will be fighting for the BMW PGA Championship
“Some of these guys said they wanted to play less golf. It’s pretty hypocritical to come here and play outside of LIV when spending more time with family and playing less golf was your big thing.
Spain star Rahm was particularly saddened to see eligible LIV players here at the expense of regular DP World Tour golfers as the tour failed to legally uphold a ban.
Rahm said: “What I don’t understand is that some players who have never shown any interest in the European Tour have never shown any interest in playing this event and have been given an opportunity just because they are earning and hopefully making world ranking points can majors next year. A perfect example: A good friend of mine (Alfredo Garcia-Heredia) is the first on the entry list.
European Tour veterans Poulter (L) and Lee Westwood (R) joined LIV Golf earlier this year