Billy Horschel takes offense at the idea of PGA Tour copying LIV; ‘They stole a concept’
ATLANTA – A divide that had been largely civil until recently has descended into a series of petty jabs and awkward social media exchanges and at least one PGA Tour player has seen enough.
Following his second round at the Tour Championship, Billy Horschel shot back at Lee Westwood and those within LIV Golf who dismissed this week’s overhaul of the Tour’s schedule as a watered-down copycat.
“They’re saying we copied them; we’ve had a $20 million purse before, we’ve had small fields before, we’ve had no-cut events before,” Horschel said. “Are they doing anything different than we’ve done in the past? No, they’ve got a 54-hole shotgun start and there’s teams. That’s what’s different.”
Following Wednesday’s announcement by the Tour of the addition of more “elevated” events with larger purses and limited fields, Westwood was critical in an interview with Golf Digest.
“I laugh at what the PGA Tour players have come up with,” Westwood said. “It’s just a copy of what LIV is doing. There are a lot of hypocrites out there. They all say LIV is ‘not competitive.’ They all point at the no-cut aspect of LIV and the short fields. Now, funnily enough, they are proposing 20 events that look a lot like LIV. Hopefully, at some point they will all choke on their words.”
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman also joined in, posting a meme on Twitter that suggested the Tour stole the Saudi-backed league’s concept.
Tour players scoffed at the notion that the changes are simply a blueprint of LIV Golf and Horschel also pointed out that LIV’s team concept was first introduced to the public in 2020 under the banner of the Premier Golf League. The PGL was also a team concept with limited fields that was backed by New York-based merchant bank Raine Group and the Saudi Public Investment Fund. When the PGL failed to launch, the PIF turned its attention to LIV Golf.
“The problem I have is they’re saying we’re copying them, the LIV tour, we’re not copying them,” Horschel said. “They stole a concept from Andy Gardner and PGL and pawned it off as their own. The Saudis had teamed up with the PGL to do a deal and get their tour off the ground and that didn’t happen.
“It’s funny when they say we copied them, and we didn’t, but when you look at their concept they literally copied someone else and stole it from them. Who is copying who?”