It’s Players Championship week, and so the inevitable debate around whether the annual tournament is the “fifth major” is back in earnest. While some people have sensed a coordinated push by the PGA Tour to make that a reality, veteran pro Billy Horschel is pushing back against that Players Championship major conspiracy theory.
And, according to Horschel, there’s one party to blame: the media.
Horschel took to Twitter Tuesday evening to state his case, writing that he has “never heard or been told by anyone from the Tour that we need to talk or push for The Players being a major,” and that it’s the media, and the media alone, who pushes the conspiracy theory.
The five-time PGA Tour winner and 2014 FedEx Cup champion then backtracked his blame-game (sort of) claiming that he was “not calling the media out on this,” before re-stating his argument by writing it’s ridiculous that “people believe the Tour has pushed the players to talk about The Players in the same breath as other majors.”
The debate over the major status of the Players Championship is not a new one. Without a doubt, the PGA Tour has pushed hard to raise the profile and prestige of its flagship event (While the four actual majors are officially sanctioned by the PGA Tour, they are operated by other organizations).
Tournament officials even came up with a new theme song, a not-so-subtle nod to the true first major of the year in April.
But no matter which side of the Players Championship major conspiracy debate you find yourself on, Horschel was right on the mark with the final point in his tweet: “One thing is for certain, it’s a GREAT Champ.”