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July 5, 2022

Billy Horschel

North Berwick, Scotland

The Renaissance Club

Press Conference

JOHN BUSH: We welcome Billy Horschel into the interview room. Welcome to the Scottish Open. You won your seventh PGA TOUR title earlier this year at the Memorial and you had three runner-up finishes this year, excellent form, if we can get some comments on your season and your form coming into the week.

BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, it's been a really good year. I repeat myself a lot but sometimes all the hard work and practise we put in, we don't get results out of it, so it's nice for this year, we start to see more results, what my team and I have done over the last couple years, the changes we have made to try and be more consistent, try and win the bigger events, it's been nice to finally see. It's been a solid year. Unfortunately missed the cut at U.S. Open by a shot. Haven't performed well in majors but hopefully that changes next year. The game has been solid and I haven't had to fiddle too much and I've been able to focus on putting each week and that's been a big help.

JOHN BUSH: And to win on the world stage is important to you. First American to win the BMW PGA Championship since Arnold Palmer in 1975. How important are these next couple weeks to you.

BILLY HORSCHEL: I think as golfers, junior golfers, growing up, we play this game to be remembered. We play this game to say we've won on the PGA TOUR, we've won the same tournaments as Tiger Woods and same as Arnold Palmer same thing over here on DP World Tour, thinking about winning the BMW PGA and the National Opens. The money is obviously something the name is there and we play well and we get taken care of but we didn't play for money as a kid. I never thought of making X amount of dollars in my lifetime like that. That was never my goal. My goal was to be considered hopefully one of the greatest players of my generation or one of the greatest players in the game and hopefully be remembered. That's what we as junior golfers want to do. We want to be like Tiger. We want to be like Jack Nicklaus. We want to be like Fred Couples. So the money aspect wasn't why what did it for.

Q. (Inaudible).

BILLY HORSCHEL: Obviously it was a big event then but now with the co sanctioned events, co-sanctioned with the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR players coming over here to get ready for The Open Championship, this is a big event. This is a massive event when you think about, when you look at what's on that wall and you see you've got the four current range major championships event and 40 of the Top-50 players in the world. This is what we play for. We want to compete against the best players and see where we stand with our game and what better place than to do it here at the Renaissance Club at The Scottish Open.

Q. What are your thoughts on the --

BILLY HORSCHEL: I believe they made their bed. They decided to go may a tour and they should go play that tour. They shouldn't be coming back over here to play the DP World Tour or the PGA TOUR. To say that they wanted to also support this tour or the DP or PGA TOUR going forward, while playing the LIV Tour, is completely asinine in my opinion. To play the PGA TOUR, you've got to play 15 events and their schedule is 8 events, 14; so say they are going to play 29 events a year and still hold membership on the PGA TOUR is ridiculous.

I know it's easy on the DP World Tour where you only have to play four events a year outside the majors and WGC events. But my sitting here, being able to talk to the DP World Tour players over the last couple years, having a conversation with them at the BMW International Open.

Just coming to play the big events on the DP World Tour, yeah, that helps but that's not supporting the DP World Tour. Go play something that's not a Rolex Series Event. Go play something that's not in the Middle East. That's more important to the DP World Tour and the growth of the Tour and giving back to the Tour and hoping these guys in the financial sense, making sure that financially they are getting the rewards that they deserve over here. They have lacked the rewards that we have on the PGA TOUR. Obviously there's a multitude of reasons for it but these guys deserve the same set of rewards over here that we get on the PGA TOUR. So it's unfortunate that those guys made their bed and that's what they want to do.

Leave us alone, honestly. They keep talking about PGA TOUR doesn't listen to them -- I'm carrying on to your question because this is something -- the last week's events I've been really frustrated by because there are a lot of guys that are hypocrites that are not telling the truth and lying about some things that I just can't stand to sit here anymore and be diplomatic anymore about it as I have been in the past.

I don't fault anyone for going to play the LIV Tour. I don't have any ill will for anyone going to play the LIV Tour. I don't feel ill will about the comments they make, comments that Jay Monahan doesn't listen to PGA TOUR (players) or that Jay Monahan doesn't listen to us. Jay Monahan and everyone at headquarters is the PGA TOUR. They work tirelessly for us to reap financial rewards and have all the opportunities that we have.

At the same time I am one of the 200 plus members of the PGA TOUR, I am the PGA TOUR. So when you take shots at the PGA TOUR, you're taking -- at Jay Monahan, you're not just taking shots at them. You're taking shots at us, and to say that they don't listen is a complete far as, it really is. They can't listen. If they listen to everything 200-plus players on the PGA TOUR said, our tour would be a complete mess. We wouldn't have a tour.

So it's ridiculous to hear some of the comments these guys make, saying, well, this allows me to play less tournaments. I play 30, 35 weeks a year. No one's forced you to play that many events. PGA TOUR says 15 events minimum, all you have to do is play 15 events and you keep your card in those 15 events then that's fine. If you want to play better or you want to play more so you get a chance to win the FedExCup, so be it. So be it. No one has made you play that first Playoff event to go miss family obligations. No one has.

Yes, we are independent contractors; we do sign a contract with the PGA TOUR to meet certain requirements of the PGA TOUR. But we have the opportunity to make our schedule so to say that we have to play X amount of event and they don't have time off, no one makes you. I'm on the road for five weeks. I have not seen my family for three weeks. I haven't seen them for the last three weeks: U.S. Open, didn't see them in Germany, I stayed over here in London for a week, I'm staying over this week and I'm staying for next week, so five weeks. That's what my wife and I decided, when we laid our schedule out, it just worked that way. I made that decision to not see my wife and kids for five weeks. Am I crying about it? No. I understand. I'm living my dream trying to play golf professionally and support my family financially.

So I'm just tired of these comments. Like go play the LIV Tour and forget about the PGA TOUR. Maybe they don't want to support the PGA TOUR going forward. Don't tell me you're going to play LIV and then go play 15 events on the PGA TOUR and playing 20. That's not a small schedule, that's not playing less.

Sorry, carrying on (laughter).

We can keep going, I have time. My practise is done today pretty much.

Q. (Inaudible).

BILLY HORSCHEL: In college, my college coach, Buddy Alexander said to be considered a global player, world-class player, you have to go play around the globe and you have to play well and you have to win events. I did play a little around the globe when I was on the PGA TOUR. I have always wanted to play The European Tour, growing up, watching The European Tour early in the mornings. That's a lot of golf I watched early on, so I always had a fascination with The European Tour. I didn't take advantage of it early in my career and now I'm somewhat on the back end, planning on playing another seven, eight years and as of right now I want to be able to take advantage of that opportunity and play The European Tour and play tournaments that I've watched growing up.

With the way our schedule worked, with some of the majors changed and BMW PGA going from May to September, that opened up the doors. And then honestly, to see the reaction and support I had in 2019 at the BMW PGA, it really pushed me to come over here more because I really appreciated how they supported me there at the London event and couple weeks ago, similar reception. Nice to have that, and winning the Match Play was one of those added perks that allowed me to get more recognition and more opportunities to take advantage and play in Europe.

Q. (Inaudible).

BILLY HORSCHEL: For the last year and a half, I think our prep before majors and after we felt after we teed up on Thursday has felt really good. Unfortunately I've become somewhat of a mental midget on Thursday and sort of fallen back on old habits which we've talked about and worked it out, and I think U.S. Open was the first -- three weeks ago, was the first one where I felt like I went out there and I wasn't trying to not mess up. I was trying to go out there and win a golf tournament and hit the golf shots required. I wasn't trying to be too perfect and not put myself in a bad position that cost me losing -- I went out there trying to play well and unfortunately I just didn't hit it good enough early in the week and make the putts on Friday.

You know, still trying to put the pieces together. I think we have all got them laid out on the board and think we know where they need to go and we will try it again next week and hopefully all the pieces come together next week.

Q. What's the mood in the PGA TOUR locker room with the players who have gone?

BILLY HORSCHEL: Listen, there is a little division in the locker room and some are more upset than others. I have no ill will but I'm just tired of hearing comments that aren't truthful.

There are some guys and in all respect, top two guys, mid-level guys, bottom-level guys are upset that feel they are abandoning the PGA TOUR. Yeah, there is -- do I know the percentage, no, but just some comments I've heard that guys are frustrated, and if that's what they want to do, just go away, stay away. Like if you don't want to be a part of this tour which has given you so many opportunities to make a name and build a financial stability for your family and everything, then that's fine. Just stay away and we'll be fine without you guys.

Q. (Inaudible).

BILLY HORSCHEL: I think for St Andrews, it's the Home of Golf and of course it's special but everything that encompasses that. It's golf course, the town, how the residents welcome you there. I played there last year, he turned 70 on Saturday if I remember correctly and I was coming off -- I was relaxing after rounds and my dad was headed down to Dunvegan, and they welcomed him with open arms and I remember him later in the week -- because he would meet us and I would meet them at dinner and I went in later in the week and I walk in and he's got a table, he's got six other guys around, buying pints, telling stories, like, hey, we love your dad, he's welcome to hang out with us whenever he wants. That's what makes that place special. There's so many things that go into it but just the way people embrace the town, whether it be the residents or visitors or tourists, it's such a special place that has so much history that really it's tough not to be able to feel that energy and that excitement when you start driving in.

Q. (Inaudible).

BILLY HORSCHEL: To me, I think it would be pretty special and it would be awesome for the event and it would be awesome for our DP World Tour, PGA TOUR coalition that we have now. I don't know what the exact word is, no longer alliance; the bond. But like I said, the appeal for someone on The European Tour that doesn't have a PGA TOUR card, they probably grew up wanting to be part of the DP World Tour and when they got out here, not that this tour is lacking in any way with competitiveness or anything, but you've seen the move to the purpose and you want to compare yourself to the best players in the world, PGA TOUR you is want to go.

Not every DP World Tour thinks that way. They love it over here but some guys want to go over there and try their craft out on the PGA TOUR. For someone who has that desire, that's a special moment for them knowing they have a chance to come over on the PGA TOUR and compete at the highest level.

Q. Do you remember that moment --

BILLY HORSCHEL: 2009, Q-School at Bear Lakes, I finished seventh or eighth at Q-School. I was 22 years old. I was a little bit cocky, and I knew I was going to get my card that week so I just sort of -- I'm not a big guy that celebrates or takes it in or gets real emotional about things like that. But looking back now, I've been on the PGA TOUR for 13 years. It was an unbelievable time to be able to fulfill my dream of making it on to the PGA TOUR.

Q. Just the change in the team?

BILLY HORSCHEL: Yeah, I missed the cut unfortunately at the U.S. Open -- (Inaudible.)

Unfortunately Fooch -- like everything around the world, it's taken a little bit longer, and he's not able to travel while he's in that process, so he called up a good friend, Johnny Long Socks and coerced him out of retirement to come work with me for a few weeks so it's great to have Long Socks on the bag.

But I'm talking to Fooch on a regular basis on FaceTime at home and he's going crazy at home and hopefully we can make him a little more crazy if we win one of these next two and make him feel even more bad about not being here.

Q. (Off-mic.)

BILLY HORSCHEL: I would agree with you. I mean, Justin Thomas said something on a Podcast last week and every player out here has said the same thing: Just give us the real reason why you went; it was a financial decision. That was it. Don't say you're growing the game of golf. Don't say you're doing it because you get to play less golf because you can do that on the PGA TOUR. You can play four majors and 11 other events and that's 15 events a year.

I don't know if they are getting media training. Obviously I have heard they are getting talking points. But just say this is a financial decision, or not because it's a cool format or I'm excited about having a shotgun start and only playing 54 holes. That's not the main reason you're doing it. You're doing it for what you're putting in your pocket at that point in time. For me, I just wish that some of this other stuff that they are saying, just everyone laughs at and makes fun of and I think everyone else just has maybe a little bit -- maybe give a little more respect for owning up and saying it's a financial decision and that's why I made this decision.

I'm not aware, if that was the case, all I'm going to say is that maybe they are given talking points, maybe not, or someone said I'm going to copy what he said because that sounded great. I don't know if they are getting media training or what to say or anything like that. But when you are under contract and you work for somebody now, you're an employee of an employer, now you're saying certain things that the employer wants you to say. It's different on the PGA TOUR or DP World Tour. I don't have to worry about what I say. PGA TOUR can't fire me.

Q. Can they fine you?

BILLY HORSCHEL: They can fine me. I've been fined once or twice in my career. They can fine me.

Q. Where do you stand (on DP World and PGA TOUR alliance and benefits to players)

BILLY HORSCHEL: That's a great question. You know, I'm privileged to a lot of information basically because I'm on the PAC and also I live in Ponte Vedra and I have a great relationship with Jay Monahan and Andy Pazder, and by asking the right questions and being intuitive, I try to get a little more out of them.

How does it help the PGA TOUR? Well, I think what it does is it makes our tour stronger by joining up with what's been in my opinion -- this is my opinion -- by joining a tour that's been a rival of ours over the years, now we've come together to hopefully try and defend and protect and grow what both tours have created over 60-plus years against a threat from someone who is coming in and trying to honestly just throw money at the game of golf, hoping that they can get something out of it, whatever they want to get out of it.

You know, I'm probably not the perfect PGA TOUR to ask in that sense because I'm very in front of that I have membership on both tours. I'm very in front of that I have great sponsors and so I'm taken care of very well. But how does that help every PGA TOUR player? I'm not knowledgeable enough to give you an educated answer. I can ramble on for 20 minutes and that still makes no sense.

Q. (Inaudible).

BILLY HORSCHEL: If you know who I am, I'm a very loyal and very honest person. If I care for you I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help you out and I care for the PGA TOUR. I love the PGA TOUR. The DP tour, DP World Tour has been another tour that I've come to care for and love it get to know these guys and get to know the people who run this tour and they are great people.

To see both tours being attacked and being challenged, which I think competitive competition is really great but going about it in a way that I don't think is very correct and the way it should be done, you know, if I happen to play a small part in both these tours success and seeing guys win and then they become great generational golfers of their generation or great golfers of history, I mean, that would be pretty special.

Some of the comments I've said over the last six months that have the likes of Fred Couples and Tom Kite and some of these other legends of the game of golf, PGA TOUR players that made the PGA TOUR what it is reach out and thank me for that, I'll be doing the same thing for the next generation of golfers. I think the world of Rory of what he is doing and Sam Burns, Cameron Young. I think those guys are the next stars of this tour.

And so I'm just trying to make sure that they have a place where they can compete at the height level and be remembered for what they did on the golf course but not for what they put in their bank account.

Q. Being in a draw with a LIV player, does that make for a silent round?

BILLY HORSCHEL: As I said I have no ill will towards these guys. Ian Poulter has been a friend for many years and I've known Justin Harding since college daysl Adrian Otaegui I've played a couple of times. I have no problem with these guys. Poulter is very English and very blunt and very straightforward. I have two guys that are English on my team and I'm very blunt myself.

I haven't taken a shot at anyone personally. I'm not taking shots at them personally. I'm just taking shots at some of the comments that they say that I think are a little, excuse me, asinine a little bit. Poulter hasn't said anything. He has not said a comment that I disagree with. Justin Harding, Adrian Otaegui have not said anything that I disagree with what they said or had an issue with what they said. For me, majority of these guys I have great relationships with and that's still going to be the same.

Now, our talking points may be different a lot they may not be allowed to talk about. I don't really care what they do on the LIV Tour. I don't really care what that tour is all about. But if it's Poulter, I'm sure we're going to be talking about Arsenal versus West Ham.

JOHN BUSH: Billy, we appreciate your time. Best of luck this week.

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