LIV Drama Follows Players To The Scottish Open This Week
Ian Poulter, Adrian Otaegui, and Justin Harding appealed their suspensions from the Scottish Open and two additional tournaments. The players were previously penalized for competing in a LIV Golf event outside of London without a European Tour release.
Speaking to the BBC Sports, Poulter said, “My commitment to the European Tour has been there since day one,” he said. “And it’s still there today. I’m proud of playing so often, when it was to the detriment of world ranking points and FedEx Cup points I could have earned playing more in America.”
The PGA Tour had previously suspended its players who signed up for Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed series. Poulter is also a member of the PGA Tour, having won 3 events in his career.
A week of press conferences prior to this week’s Scottish Open made for some interesting soundbites, including PGA pro Billy Horschel questioning the integrity of players who said negative things about the PGA Tour when they left for LIV.
“I’ve been really frustrated by it because there’s a lot of guys that are hypocrites, that aren’t telling the truth, that are lying about some things, and I just can’t stand to sit here anymore and be diplomatic about it as I have been in the past,” Horschel said.
Horschel continued, “I don’t fault anyone for going to play the LIV tour. I don’t have any ill will for anyone going to play the LIV tour. I have ill will toward comments that they’ve made, comments saying that [PGA Tour commissioner] Jay Monahan doesn’t listen, the PGA Tour doesn’t listen to us. Jay Monahan and everyone at headquarters is the PGA Tour. They work tirelessly for us to reap the financial rewards and have all the opportunities that we have. At the same time, I am one of 200-plus members of the PGA Tour. “
“I am the PGA Tour, just as 200 other members are the PGA Tour, so when you take shots at the PGA Tour and Jay Monahan, you’re not just taking shots at them, you’re taking shots at us,” Horschel said.
It seems momentum has slowed since the first LIV tournament list was sent in a press release, but players are still making their way from the PGA Tour to LIV. Most recently, Paul Casey made the switch. Casey’s move is no minor one, either, as he’s ranked 27th in the world golf rankings.
“Listen, there is a little division in the locker room, and some are more upset than others. I have no ill will, but I’m just tired of hearing comments that aren’t truthful,” Horschel said.
One player you won’t see many rumors about is Tiger Woods, who had expected to compete in last month’s U.S. Open, but complications with his right leg, which has recently been operated on, prevented him from competing in the U.S. Open.
‘Big Cat’ stated this week that he didn’t want to risk his chances of competing in the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews, which begins on July 14.
Woods has previously participated in five Open Championships at St. Andrews. His eight-stroke triumph in 2000 was the second of four straight major championships, also known as the “Tiger Slam.”
He also had a two-stroke win at St. Andrews in 2005, which was his second of three Open Championships.