Alex Noren

Ian Poulter, Billy Horschel get into animated conversation at Wentworth; Poulter blames bad optics


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Seven-time PGA Tour winner Billy Horschel and LIV Golf’s Ian Poulter got into what appealed to be a heated conversation at Wentworth Thursday afternoon. But, according to Poulter, optics can be deceiving. 

Video posted to social media showed Poulter and Horschel having an animated conversation at the BMW PGA Championship in England Thursday. 

Billy Horschel of the U.S. plays a shot during a practice round prior to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club Sept. 6, 2022, in Virginia Water, England.

Billy Horschel of the U.S. plays a shot during a practice round prior to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club Sept. 6, 2022, in Virginia Water, England. (Warren Little/Getty Images)

While it wasn’t immediately clear what was discussed, the gestures used by both players led social media users to speculate the conversation had something to do with the recent conflict between LIV Golf and the rest of the golf world. 

But Poulter attempted to put the rumors to bed. 

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“I have no problem with Billy,” Poulter said via Golf Digest. “All these [players] out here I have been friendly with for a really long time. So let’s draw a line between personal and business. It’s really easy to have a level-headed conversation with someone when you respect them, even though you have a difference of opinion. That’s fine. I can still be somebody’s friend.

Ian Poulter of England, left, and Billy Horschel react to a birdie on the eighth hole during the final round of the Franklin Templeton Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club Dec. 13, 2014, in Naples, Fla.  

Ian Poulter of England, left, and Billy Horschel react to a birdie on the eighth hole during the final round of the Franklin Templeton Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club Dec. 13, 2014, in Naples, Fla.   (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

“That’s the nice thing about this game we play, and it will be a sad time if people let it spill over and take friendships away,” he continued. “That would be sad. We had a lovely chat the night before for an hour, outside the front of the hotel. There’s nothing in it. Billy is quite an animated guy, and I am, too. He has strong opinions, and I normally do, too, so you can tell how that would look on camera.”

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Horschel spoke about that meeting during an appearance on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio Wednesday, saying he spoke to Poulter and Lee Westwood about the critical comments made a day earlier.

“We had a conversation for about an hour. And the great thing I love about Ian and Lee, who I’ve known for many years and get along with very well, is that we can disagree on views and have different opinions, but we can still be very respectful … but we can still be friends and still have the same friendship,” Horschel said. 

Ian Poulter of Majesticks GC tees off on the fifth hole during the LIV Golf Invitational — London at The Centurion Club June 10, 2022, in St Albans, England. 

Ian Poulter of Majesticks GC tees off on the fifth hole during the LIV Golf Invitational — London at The Centurion Club June 10, 2022, in St Albans, England.  (Joe Maher/LIV Golf/Getty Images)

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Horschel called out Talor Gooch and Abraham Ancer by name during a pre-match press conference Tuesday, claiming that they never “supported” the DP World Tour until now, seemingly because world ranking points aren’t offered at LIV Golf tournaments

“Abraham Ancer, Talor Gooch … You’ve never played this tournament, you’ve never supported the (European Tour). Why are you here?” Horschel said. “You are here for one reason only and that’s to try to get world ranking points because you don’t have it.

“It’s pretty hypocritical,” he continued, “to come over here and play outside LIV when your big thing was to spend more time with family and want to play less golf.”

 

Paulina Dedaj is a Digital Reporter for Fox News and Fox Business. Follow Paulina Dedaj on Twitter at @PaulinaDedaj. If you’ve got a tip, you can email Paulina at Paulina.Dedaj@fox.com

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