‘They’ve been brainwashed:’ Billy Horschel sounds off on LIV players’ expectations

Billy Horschel hits a shot during a practice round for the FedEx St. Jude Championship

Safe to say Billy Horschel saw this week's TRO ruling coming.

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Billy Horschel isn’t expecting to see any LIV Golf players back on the PGA Tour anytime soon.

“I’ve said to some of the guys personally, I think they’ve been brainwashed,” Horschel said of LIV commits in an interview with Golf Channel Wednesday from the FedEx St. Jude Championship. “The way they feel so adamant that they’re going to be back on the PGA Tour.”

On Tuesday, a federal judge denied a temporary restraining order that would have allowed three LIV players, Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford, to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs this month. The trio is part of a group of 10 LIV Golfers who have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

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A day later, Horschel, who was critical last month at the Scottish Open of players trying to retain membership on the PGA Tour while playing LIV Golf events, didn’t sound surprised by Tuesday’s ruling.

“I’ve had some of [the LIV Golfers] tell me, ‘I’ll see you on Tour again.’ I said, ‘No you won’t,'” Horschel said.

This is just the first legal battle between the Tour and LIV Golf, but many pros like Horschel are already making their stances known.

Horschel wasn’t the only Tour loyalist sounding off on the court hearing this week. In his pre-tournament press conference at the FedEx St. Jude, Rory McIlroy said Tuesday a good day for the Tour and its membership, adding that the suit has stirred up ill will with PGA Tour players.

“I certainly have a little more respect for the guys that haven’t put their names to the suit,” McIlroy said. “It’s become a little more personal because of that.”

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McIlroy has been a de facto spokesperson in defending the Tour, as a member of the Tour’s policy board. He also said seeing players try to come back after leaving the Tour, makes things more difficult.

“I think where the resentment comes from from the membership of this tour is the fact that they want to try to get their way back in here with no consequences, he said. “Anyone that’s read the PGA Tour handbook or abided by the rules and regulations, that would feel very unfair to them.”

Justin Thomas, took a lighter approach, explaining how is getting tired of constantly asked about LIV.

“It’s unfortunately just taking up the golf world a little bit and taking away from great storylines,” Thomas said on Wednesday. “I think I saw Scottie [Scheffler] came in and did his interview yesterday and I’m sure he got asked about what was going on, and he’s had one of the best seasons of all time. I mean, the most money that’s ever been earned and winning the FedExCup by a mile and I’m sure there weren’t as many questions about that as there should have been.”

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