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talor gooch

‘Some players have thanked me!’ Gooch shuts down LIV friction at Wentworth

While there appears to be plenty of tension at the BMW PGA Championship, LIV Golf’s Talor Gooch says he hasn’t seen any of it. George Cooper caught up with him

 

Talor Gooch has dismissed claims there is tension between the LIV Golf and DP World Tour players at the BMW PGA Championship, insisting relations have been “all good” so far – with rival players even going as far as to thank the American for what LIV is doing for the professional game.

Everyone in golf is wondering just how tense it will be this week at Wentworth, where a number of LIV golfers will be competing in the BMW PGA Championship, and Gooch, speaking to NCG on the practice ground, said things have been “totally fine” for him.

“Any PGA Tour player I’ve seen I’ve said ‘hi’ to,” he explained. “Any European Tour player I know I’ve said ‘hi’ to. Everyone’s been cordial. I’ve even gotten a handful of ‘thank yous’ from guys for what we are doing for professional golf. It’s been all good.

“I think it’s a bit of a narrative that the media are trying to push all this friction. There might be a little bit here and there, but in general, everyone gets along well.

Gooch, who has earned just shy of $5,000,000 so far in Greg Norman’s league, then explained his justification for calling out Billy Horschel on Twitter – who bashed his fellow American for having never supported the DP World Tour before.

“I don’t like when people call me out individually, when they’re trying to stand on a higher ground. I just don’t think it’s real. That’s why I called him out.

“If you’re going to call me out for not supporting the DP World Tour, let’s call it what it is. How supportive have you truly been? That’s why I went into a deep dive about his history here.

“It’s easy for him say, ‘What are you doing here?’ One, I’m chasing after world ranking points just like all the other professional golfers in my position has done forever. Two, I haven’t been able to support the DP World Tour because I haven’t had the opportunity to yet.

“It was bothersome to me because we had chatted that morning. If he had had those feelings, he should have said it to me to my face, rather than have gone to the media to say it.”

The likes of Horschel, Rory McIlroy and Paul McGinley had criticised the LIV golfers for taking the place of others at Wentworth this week, something which Gooch simply says is the “nature of the game”.

He continued: “Why is that a discussion now and not in the years past? I get that they’re annoyed, but that’s also the nature of the game. Guys qualify for certain events, and it then pushes other guys out. It’s happened to me on different tours.”

On the BMW PGA Championship itself, Gooch added that he is excited to get going.

“My schedule has never permitted me to play this tournament,” he explained. “This is my first chance.

“I’ve qualified to play. Knowing overseas that this is the flagship event, I’d like to think I would have played it if I could. Of course, the initial intrigue was world rankings points, but truly to be able to come and play this event, it’s a no brainer.

“I’m super excited. I’ve heard for years about this tournament, this place, this golf course, the fans. It’s the flagship event so it’s super exciting to be able to get here.”

As for competing in future DP World Tour tournaments, it appears Gooch and the other conglomerate of LIV defectors are also eyeing up future events to gain world ranking points.

“It’s something that we’ve looked into. My schedule until November is pretty locked up. So, it’s going to be tough to get out and play [on the DP World Tour], besides maybe the Dunhill. But that would be awesome and it’s something all of us within LIV have talked about since we’ve been banned from the PGA Tour.”

George Cooper

George Cooper

A golf fanatic his entire life, George Cooper is NCG's man for all goings-on at the top level of the game, whether it's the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LIV Golf. He also looks after NCG's Twitter and Facebook accounts. George is a member of Woburn, but is not friends with Ian Poulter.

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