The Players: Billy Horschel backs LIV Golf players to get ‘olive branch’ into PGA Tour’s flagship event | Golf News


Billy Horschel has called for LIV Golf players to be handed an “olive branch” and be welcomed back into The Players to cement the tournament’s status as golf’s unofficial fifth major.

The Players has previously offered the deepest field in the sport but is without LIV golfers for the second successive year, with all players who have joined the Saudi-backed circuit ineligible to feature on the PGA Tour.

Two of the current major champions – Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka – are both missing from the field, with 2022 Players winner Cameron Smith and former world No 1 Dustin Johnson also not able to play.

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Ahead of the 50th anniversary of The Players Championship, take a look at some of the best moments from the historic tournament.

Bryson DeChambeau, Tyrrell Hatton and Joaquin Niemann are some of the other notable names not involved in The Players, with Horschel acknowledging that changes may be required to keep the tournament so highly regarded within the sport.

“I don’t disagree and it’s unfortunate, because I love this event,” Horschel told Sky Sports. “I’m born and raised in the state of Florida, so this has always been a fifth major to me and I’ve always seen it as that.

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Who will win The Players? Watch the opening round live on Thursday from 11.30am on Sky Sports Golf

“It’s unfortunate that we don’t have some of the best players in the world here. I did have a conversation with Jay [Monahan] about a year and a half ago about if the majors were going to let the guys that went to LIV, shouldn’t we maybe let them in?

“If we see ourselves as a fifth major, which I believe we are, shouldn’t we, maybe put out a little bit of olive branch? We had a great conversation about that and I understood his side of it and the PGA Tour side, but I think personally it’s tough to say that we don’t have all the best players in the world here.

The Players Championship Live

Thursday 14th March 11:30am

“Take out the world rankings, take out everything. Everyone knows by the eyeballs test who the best players are in the world and I think, hopefully, a year from now we will have all the best players back here again playing.

“I think for the game of golf to get back to where it needs to be and for the betterment of the game of golf – and take all the personal feelings aside – we need to do the right things.

“Hopefully that does come with the deal with PIF [Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund] and everything, so there’s a path that the best players in the world are playing again at – what I believe – is the fifth major.”

Billy Horschel is in action at The Players this week, where LIV Golf members aren’t able to feature

Schauffele: LIV absence doesn’t help The Players

Xander Schauffele also acknowledged the strength of The Players has dropped since the arrival of LIV Golf, with the Olympic gold medallist admitting it would be good to have the world’s best players back together.

“I don’t think it [LIV players not being there] helps the tournament,” Schauffele said. “I think you would like to have those players playing, in an ideal world, but I feel like we’re sort of beating a dead horse in this media room a little bit.

The Players Championship Live

Thursday 14th March 11:30am

“Everyone kind of knew what was going to happen when they made a decision. I know the guys are working on getting everyone back together, but in the meantime, I’m kind of on the page of ‘it is what it is’.”

Schauffele was also asked about PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and how he has handled a turbulent period in the sport, with the American questioning whether he has the backing of the players.

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Xander Schauffele explains why it will take some time for players to trust and believe in the PGA Tour leadership of Jay Monahan.

“Trust is something that’s pretty tender, so words are words,” Schauffele said. “He [Mohahan] could be the guy, but in my book, he’s got a long way to go to gain the trust of the membership.

“I’m sure he’s got the support of the board, since they were with him making some of those decisions, but for me personally he’s got quite a way to go.”

When is The Players live on Sky?

Sky Sports Golf will once again be the home of The Players in 2024, with nearly 60 hours of live coverage during tournament week and a host of extra content available for you to enjoy. Live coverage begins on Thursday at 11.30am.

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We hear from some of the biggest names in golf to discuss why there’s never been a back-to-back winner of The Players Championship.

Bonus coverage will be available via the red button for all four tournament rounds, with featured groups and bonus marquee groups there to enjoy every day alongside a special featured holes feed.

Watch The Players live from March 14-17 live on Sky Sports. Stream the PGA Tour and more with NOW.

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