Billy Horschel thinks the DP World Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, ought to attract more players from the US.
The 2021 champion is one of only five Americans in the field for this week’s event at Wentworth, but he thinks that’s a shame, particularly given its proximity to the Ryder Cup, which gets underway just two weeks later at Marco Simone in Italy.
In an interview with Golf Digest, the 36-year-old said: “I’m disappointed that more of my compatriots have not come. I understand some guys want some time off after the FedEx Cup.
“The US Ryder Cup team was in Italy over the weekend. I wouldn’t expect them all to come and play here, but I thought some would welcome the chance to play an event in European conditions before the Ryder Cup. They could still go home next week and prepare.”
Aside from the convenience of playing in England so close after the Team USA scouting trip to Italy, Horschel also suggested the lack of action beyond US borders could be a factor in why the Americans haven’t won the Ryder Cup in Europe for three decades.
He continued: “I hear people asking why America hasn’t won a Ryder Cup over here in 30 years. Maybe some of it is the financial stranglehold the PGA Tour has over the game.
“We just don’t have to travel the world in order to make a lot of money, which is a pity. It’s not as if our top players aren’t good enough or smart enough to adjust to the courses. But add it up and the end result is that we have been losing on courses the Europeans are a lot more familiar with.”
Aside from the opportunity to hone their skills at a tournament beyond US shores, Horschel sees Wentworth’s proximity to London and the support Americans would receive there as huge positives. He explained: “I preach every year to guys on the PGA Tour that this is a great course for them. There are guys whose games are made for Wentworth.
“And I know if they did come, they would love everything about this place. I mean, London is right there, a city that offers everything in entertainment. Plus, given the support I get from the crowds here, I have to think guys like Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas would get an…