LIV Golf stars given 'olive branch' hope as PGA Tour urged to bow down ahead of The Players Championship

LIV Golf stars given 'olive branch' hope as PGA Tour urged to bow down ahead of The Players Championship

WATCH NOW: Female pro golfer films MANSPLAINER at driving range

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 13/03/2024

- 08:16

The Players begins at TPC Sawgrass in Florida on Thursday

Billy Horschel has called on PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan to offer an olive branch to LIV golfers ahead of The Players Championship.

Horschel says it would be for the 'betterment of the game of golf' if the best players in the world were permitted to play in the unofficial fifth major.

The Players is without LIV golfers for the second consecutive year, with huge names such as Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka missing from the field.

All players who have joined the Saudi-backed league are not eligible to play on the PGA Tour, including 2022 Players winner Cameron Smith.

Jay Monahan

Jay Monahan has been urged to offer an olive branch to LIV golfers ahead of The Players


Horschel believes that change is needed in order to cement The Players' status in the game.

He told Sky Sports: "I don't disagree and it's unfortunate, because I love this event.

"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.

"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.

"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."

Monahan confirmed on Tuesday that talks are accelerating with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund in order to unify golf.

Horschel hopes that will prove to be a positive in years to come at The Players.

He added: "Hopefully that does come with the deal with PIF 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

Billy Horschel wants to see the best players in the world competing at The Players


Xander Schauffele agrees with Horschel that the absence of the LIV Golf stars is not good for the tournament.

Schauffele said: "I don't think it [LIV players not being there] helps the tournament.

"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.

Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele agrees the lack of the LIV golfers doesn't help The Players tournament


"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'."

You may like