Billy Horschel calls LIV Golf players ‘brainwashed’, says PGA Tour was ‘vindicated’ by court ruling

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Seven times Bill Horschel, PGA Tour winner was one of the most outspoken players to criticize Saudi-backed rival golf league LIV and on Wednesday Horschel revealed his true feelings towards former members who filed an antitrust complaint against the Tour in hopes to be able to come back.

“I’ve told some of the guys personally, I think they’ve been brainwashed by how they feel so adamant that they’re going to come back on the PGA Tour,” Horschel told Golf Channel before the first leg of the FedEx Cup qualifiers.

Billy Horschel reacts to his shot during the first round of the Masters on April 8, 2021, in Augusta, Georgia.
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

“Some of them said to me… ‘I’ll see you on tour again’ and I’m like, ‘No, you won’t. A few of them were brainwashed into how they thought and what they were told.”

CAMERON SMITH CLOSE QUESTIONS ABOUT LIV GOLF DEAL: ‘I’M HERE TO WIN THE FEDEX CUP PLAYOFFS’

A federal judge in California refused a temporary restraining order filed by three players seeking an injunction to play in the FedEx Cup playoffs on Tuesday after the Tour argued that lifting golfers’ suspensions and allowing them to play “would change the status quo” for the PGA Tour and “give them a platform- fabulous shape” to promote the LIV Tour while attending a PGA event.

Greg Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf, and Talor Gooch during the LIV Golf Invitational on July 31, 2022, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Greg Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf, and Talor Gooch during the LIV Golf Invitational on July 31, 2022, at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
(Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Horschel said Wednesday that he, like others on the Tour, felt “vindicated” by the court’s decision.

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“I just feel, like a lot of PGA Tour members and a lot of PGA Tour employees, a little vindication at this point because it’s not over, but everything that’s been done is okay, and we [the Tour] are in our own right to do what they did.”

Billy Horschel tees off the 15th tee during the Memorial Golf Tournament on Saturday June 4, 2022 in Dublin, Ohio.

Billy Horschel tees off the 15th tee during the Memorial Golf Tournament on Saturday June 4, 2022 in Dublin, Ohio.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Other Tour players echoed that sentiment.

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“From my point of view, common sense prevailed and I thought it was the right decision,” Four-time Majors winner Rory McIlroy said.

The St. Jude Championship kicked off Thursday with rumors that Cameron Smith, the No. 2 ranked golfer in the playoffs, has already signed an agreement with LIV Golf.

Michael C. Ford