Rahm, Horschel rebuke inclusion of LIV players at BMW PGA Championship

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While LIV players may be in the field for this week's DP World Tour event, it appears not everyone supports their participation.

Speaking on Tuesday ahead of the BMW PGA Championship - a DP World Tour event - Billy Horschel expressed disapproval at the inclusion of LIV players.

"Even though Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have been stalwarts for the European Tour, I don't think those guys really should be here," Horschel said, according to Golf Digest's John Huggan.

"I honestly don't think that the American guys who haven't supported the PGA TOUR should be here. Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch, Jason Kokrak: You've never played this tournament, you've never supported the DP World Tour. Why are you here? You are here for one reason only, and that's to try to get world-ranking points because you don't have them (on the LIV Tour)."

LIV events do not currently award Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, making it increasingly difficult for players who haven't already qualified to continue entering major championships as they slip down the rankings.

The PGA TOUR has suspended all players who compete in LIV events, meaning members of the controversial league have limited opportunities to score OWGR points. The BMW PGA Championship is one such opportunity.

Horschel, 35, is the event's defending champion after defeating Jamie Donaldson, Laurie Canter, and Kiradech Aphibarnrat by one stroke in 2021.

He's in the field this week alongside 15 LIV players who left the PGA TOUR for Greg Norman's Saudi-backed series. Kokrak is not one of them.

Horschel isn't the only golfer to criticize LIV players for taking spots in the field.

Jon Rahm - who has won the the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai twice, claimed four other DP World Tour event titles, and represented Team Europe at the Ryder Cup multiple times - echoed Horschel's thoughts Tuesday.

While Rahm stressed he doesn't take issue with golfers who are playing this week after previously showing interest or regularly playing in DP World Tour events - such as Sergio Garcia, Poulter, and Westwood, among others - he does not hold that opinion for everyone.

"What I don't understand is some players that have never shown any interest in the European Tour, have never shown any interest in playing this event, are being given an opportunity just because they can get world ranking points," said Rahm.

The 27-year-old added that a friend of his, Alfredo Garcia-Heredia, is the first player out of the entry list, according to Huggan.

"It bugs me that somebody who has played over 20 DP World events this year cannot be given the opportunity to play a flagship event," he said. "Others are being given an opportunity when they couldn't care any less about the event. They don't know. They don't care. they don't know the history of this event. They are only here because they are trying to get world-ranking points and trying to finish in the top 50. That's clear as day."

The BMW PGA Championship begins Thursday at Wentworth Club in Surrey, England.

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Rahm, Horschel rebuke inclusion of LIV players at BMW PGA Championship
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