Talor Gooch says LIV Golf competitors motivated at Open Championship: ‘Everybody is against us’

Talor Gooch says LIV Golf competitors motivated at Open Championship: ‘Everybody is against us’

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Talor Gooch may have spoken for all LIV Golf competitors playing in the Open Championship this weekend when he described the us-against-them situation players are dealing with.

Through two rounds of the Open Championship, Gooch was 7-under par and well within reach of the top of the leaderboard, which had been owned by Cam Smith, Cameron Young, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland.

Talor Gooch of the U.S. on the eighth green during the second round of the British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, Friday July 15, 2022.

Talor Gooch of the U.S. on the eighth green during the second round of the British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, Friday July 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Gooch described what it’s been like with the criticism from some golfers who stuck with the PGA Tour.

“Yeah, for sure,” Gooch said when asked whether the critics have motivated LIV Golfers. “Everybody, it feels like, is against us, and that’s OK. Like you said, it’s kind of banded us together, I think.”

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Heading into Saturday’s third round, Gooch and Dustin Johnson were both vying for the top spot. Johnson was 9-under par and in fifth place.

Talor Gooch of the U.S. plays from the ninth tee during the second round of the British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, Friday, July 15, 2022.

Talor Gooch of the U.S. plays from the ninth tee during the second round of the British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, Friday, July 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

“The credentials of everyone speaks for themselves,” Gooch said. “It’s obviously cool for me to see other guys that are out there playing well. We’ve caught a lot of flak for what we’ve done here recently. I think one thing that cannot be questioned is the quality of players that are there.”

Johnson said he’s ignoring the criticism.

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“I don’t read. I don’t look at it,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me because, obviously, everyone has their own opinion and I have mine, and the only one I care about is mine.”

Dustin Johnson of the U.S. after playing a birdie on the 16th hole during the second round of the British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, Friday, July 15, 2022.

Dustin Johnson of the U.S. after playing a birdie on the 16th hole during the second round of the British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, Friday, July 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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Neither Gooch nor Johnson has won an Open. But should a LIV Golf competitor win a major this weekend, it would certainly stoke the fire between the Saudi-backed league and the PGA Tour.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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