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Tour Notebook: Billy Horschel unloads on LIV Golf players; David Duval looking for way back to Players

·8 min read
Billy Horschel will have played five weeks in a row after next week's Open Championship, a decision he and his wife Brittany made together before the start of the season. He said PGA Tour players who jumped to the LIV Golf League because of the desire to play less could have played as many or as few tournaments as they wanted.
Billy Horschel will have played five weeks in a row after next week's Open Championship, a decision he and his wife Brittany made together before the start of the season. He said PGA Tour players who jumped to the LIV Golf League because of the desire to play less could have played as many or as few tournaments as they wanted.

Billy Horschel, never shy about speaking his mind, lashed out Tuesday at PGA Tour players who have jumped to the LIV Golf League, calling them out for statements in which they claim Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and his executive staff turned deaf ears to their concerns about scheduling and earnings.

“There’s a lot of guys that are hypocrites, that aren’t telling the truth, that are lying about some things,” said the Ponte Vedra Beach resident and past University of Florida All-American at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, the site of this week’s Genesis Scottish Open. “I can’t stand to sit here anymore and be diplomatic about it, as I have been in the past.”

Speaking his mind: Billy Horschel said he won't apologize for his desire to win causing emotions to boil over

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Horschel’s bone of contention is that Monahan and the Tour listened and perhaps the players who bolted for the LIV League got responses they didn’t want to hear.

“They’re saying Jay doesn’t listen, the Tour doesn’t listen to us,” Horschel said. “Jay Monahan and everyone at headquarters is the PGA Tour. They work tirelessly for us to reap the financial rewards we have and have all the opportunities we have. At the same time, I am one of 200-plus members. I am the PGA Tour. When you're taking shots at the PGA Tour and taking shots at Jay Monahan, you're taking shots at us. And to say they don't listen is a complete farce, it really is. If they listened to everything 200-plus players on the PGA Tour said, it would be a complete mess. We couldn’t have a Tour.”

Gene Frenette: PGA, LIV Golf should make peace

Horschel also said LIV Golf players saying they jumped so they could play less golf comes off as disingenuous since the Tour requires members to play only 15 events per year to have voting rights and the LIV Golf schedule calls for 14 events next season.

“It’s ridiculous to hear some of these comments: ‘It allows me to play less tournaments,’” Horschel said. “No one forced you to play that many events. Play 15. That’s fine. We have an opportunity to make our own schedule.”

Horschel pointed out that after next week’s Open Championship, he will have been away from his wife and three children for five weeks.

“It’s what we decided when we laid the schedule out … it just worked out that way,” he said of the decision between he and his wife Brittany made before the season began. “I made a decision to not see my wife and kids for five weeks. Am I crying about it?”

Horschel also had a request for the Tour players who have gone over to the LIV League but continue to take pot-shots at the Tour.

“Go play your LIV Tour and forget about PGA Tour,” he said.

A chance for The Players

Now that Jacksonville native David Duval is playing on the PGA Tour Champions, he has an avenue to return to the First Coast in addition to his planned appearance at the Furyk & Friends Oct. 7-9 at the Timuquana Country Club, the course where he learned to play golf.

He’s playing in his first Bridgestone Senior Players Championship this week at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, with the same chance the other 79 players in the field have: if Duval wins, he gets a spot in the 2023 Players Championship, the site of one of the biggest of his 13 PGA Tour titles when he won at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in 1999.

David Duval, a Jacksonville native, won the 1999 Players Championship. He has a chance to return to the tournament as one of the perks if he wins this week's Senior Players.
David Duval, a Jacksonville native, won the 1999 Players Championship. He has a chance to return to the tournament as one of the perks if he wins this week's Senior Players.

Since 2007 the PGA Tour has given the winner of the Senior Players a spot in The Players. Duval is one of eight past Players champions in this week’s field, along with Stephen Ames, K.J. Choi, Fred Couples, Fred Funk, Lee Janzen, Justin Leonard and Davis Love III.

Duval has a history at Firestone. He won the World Series of Golf in 1998, one of four titles that year on his way to the Tour’s money and scoring titles. He played in three of the World Golf Championships held at Firestone, in 1999, 2001 and 2002, with two finishes of 27th and one 28th.

Suri gets a spot

Bartram Trail High graduate Julian Suri will get his first PGA Tour start since the 2019 PGA when he plays in the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace in Nicholasville, Ky.

Julian Suri reacts after sinking the final putt when he won the 2017 Made in Denmark Championship on the DP World Tour.
Julian Suri reacts after sinking the final putt when he won the 2017 Made in Denmark Championship on the DP World Tour.

Suri, a member of the DP World Tour, parlayed his status in Europe and when he climbed as high as 60th on the World Golf Rankings to get 13 starts on the PGA Tour between 2017-2019, which included two appearances in the PGA and two in the Open Championship. Suri’s best finish was a tie for eighth in the 2018 Houston Open, a year in which he made nine of 10 cuts in Tour events.

Suri qualified for the European Challenge Tour, won one event, then graduated to the DP World Tour and won once, in Denmark. He has battled injuries in recent years and has made one cut on the DP Tour this season, finishing in a tie for 54th in the Scandanavian Mixed. His current World Golf Ranking is No. 1,295.

WGC in China canceled

The 2022 World Golf Championship HSBC Champions scheduled for October 27-30 in Shanghai has been canceled because of COVID-19 restrictions in China.

That tournament was last played in 2019.

“We have worked with all Tours, as well as the China Golf Association, on the viability of hosting the WGC-HSBC Champions this fall, but unfortunately the logistical implications forced the difficult decision to cancel the event,” said PGA Tour senior vice-president, International, Christian Hardy, in a statement. “We are thankful for HSBC’s partnership during these trying times as we continue to navigate the changing COVID-19 climate.”

The Butterfield Bermuda Championship, which was scheduled as an opposite-field event that week, will be played with full FedExCup points and an elevated purse of $6.5 million. The tournament returns to Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda.

How to watch pro golf this week

PGA TOUR 

Event: Genesis Scottish Open, Thursday-Sunday, The Renaissance Club, North Berwick, Scotland.

At stake: $8 million purse ($1,440,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner.

Defending champion: Min Woo Lee.

TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.); CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 12-3 p.m.).

Area players entered: Harris English, Brian Harman, Billy Horschel, Russell Knox, Keith Mitchell, Cameron Smith.

Notable: The tournament is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour. … Lee birdied the first playoff hole to beat Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Detry. … Leading the field are Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Will Zalatoris, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Sam Burns and Xander Schauffele. … Rory McIlroy is the only player among the top-14 on the World Golf Rankings to skip the tournament. ... The Open Championship is next week at St. Andrews.

Event: Barbasol Championship, Thursday-Sunday, Keene Trace Golf Club, Nicholasville, Ky.

At stake: $3.7 million purse ($667,000 and 300 FedEx Cup points to the winner.

Defending champion: Seamus Power.

TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Saturday, 4-7 p.m.; Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).

Area players entered: Jonas Blixt, Jonathan Byrd, Matt Every, Patton Kizzire, David Lingmerth, Trey Mullinax, Doc Redman, Sam Ryder, Greyson Sigg, Julian Suri, Jared Wolfe.

Notable: Power won with a par on the sixth playoff hole to beat J.T. Poston. Power shot 67 in the final round to catch Poston. … The winner will get a spot in The Players Championship but opposite the Scottish Open, he will not get an invitation to the Masters. … Leading the field are past FedEx Cup champions Brandt Snedeker and Bill Haas and past winners at Keene Trace Aaron Baddeley, Grayson Murray and Jim Herman.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS 

Event: Bridgestone Senior Players Championship, Thursday-Sunday, Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio.

At stake: $3 million purse ($450,000 to the winner).

Defending champion: Steve Stricker.

TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 1:30-4 p.m.; Saturday, 12-4 p.m.; Sunday, 12-3 p.m.

Area players entered: David Duval, Fred Funk, Jim Furyk, Frank Lickliter II, Davis Love III, Vijay Singh.

Notable: Stricker dominated the tournament, opening with a 63 and going on to beat Jerry Kelly by six shots. … The winner gets a berth in the 2023 Players Championship. … Also playing are World Golf Hall of Fame members Fred Couples, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Bernard Langer and Colin Montgomerie.

Contact Garry Smits at gsmits@gannett.com

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Billy Horschel: Those who jumped to LIV Golf from PGA Tour 'hypocrites'