LET us get one thing clear. Golf’s so-called civil war is actually quite civilised. Here at leafy Wentworth, loyalists of the established tours and the LIV Golf rebels are still exchanging pleasantries, hand-shakes and high-fives despite us fevered lot in the media depicting the kind of chaotic battles, jousts and skirmishes you would see stitched into the Bayeux Tapestry.

This does not mean there is an absence of passionate opinion, of course. The presence of a number of LIV defectors in this week’s BMW PGA Championship has added a good dollop of spice to the DP World Tour’s flagship event.

Billy Horschel, the defending champion and the only American after Arnold Palmer in 1975 to win the PGA crown, has never been one to remain tight-lipped on a subject that continues to consume the upper echelons of the golfing world.

Back at July’s Scottish Open, for instance, he branded those who had jumped on board the LIV gravy train “liars and hypocrites”. Yesterday, in his pre-championship press conference, the 35-year-old was equally as robust in his assessment of affairs. The rumble of thunder up in the muggy sky just as he began talking was all rather fitting. The tumult in the men’s professional game should come with its own red alert warning from the Met Office, after all.

European Ryder Cup stalwarts like Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia, along with former Masters champion Patrick Reed, are among the LIV renegades competing this week in addition to a posse, such as Abraham Ancer, Jason Kokrak and Talor Gooch, who have never shown much interest in playing in Europe before.

The fact they can gain much-needed world rankings points here – LIV Golf does not have official world ranking status yet – has suddenly led to them hopping over the Atlantic to this Surrey stockbroker belt. That shameless profiteering does not sit well with Horschel.

“Even though Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have been stalwarts for the European [now DP World] Tour, I don’t think those guys really should be here,” he said. “I honestly don’t think that the American guys who haven’t supported the Tour should be here. Talor Gooch, Jason Kokrak … you’ve never played this tournament, you’ve never supported the DP World Tour. Why are you here?

“You are here for one reason only and that’s to try to get world ranking points because you don’t have it [on LIV Golf].

“It’s hypocritical because of what some of these guys have said when they said they wanted to play less golf. It’s pretty hypocritical to come over here and play outside LIV when your big thing was to spend more time with family and play less golf. I wouldn’t call Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter hypocrites because they never said they wanted to play less. The [other] guys that have publicly stated they want to play less, those are the hypocrites.”

The mighty sums being offered by LIV to join the breakaway series can be as eye-watering as the rise in the energy price cap. Despite the promise of untold riches, though, Horschel claims some players have been badly advised.

“Maybe those guys aren’t smart enough to think on their own and maybe their agents gave them bad information” Horschel added. “I know for a fact that certain agents just gave certain players bad information and some of those players are ticked [off] that they listened to their agents.

“Some of these agents led these guys down a bad road. They didn’t give them the entire information and they didn’t play devil’s advocate the way they should have. I guarantee if I was in their seat, my agent would have played devil’s advocate, or I would have played devil’s advocate. We did talk about the pros and cons if LIV came to us.

“And we made a list. There was a lot of cons on that LIV Golf side and very few on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. There’s a lot more pros on that side.”

The appearance of 17 LIV rebels in the field this week means a number of DP World Tour regulars have missed out on one of the biggest events of the year.

“A perfect example is that a good friend of mine [Alfredo Garcia-Heredia] is the first one out on the entry list right now,” said the former world No.1, Jon Rahm, of the predicament of his Spanish compatriot. “It doesn’t hurt me but it does bug me that somebody [like Heredia] who has played over 20 DP World Tour events this year cannot be given the opportunity to play a flagship event because some people are being given an opportunity when they couldn’t care less about the event.”

Amid the general upheaval of the global scene, Rahm still believes that there can be a silver lining.

“There’s more animosity going on in the world of golf than we’ve ever had,” he added. “But it could be a change for the better, right?

“We can see the PGA Tour making changes to increase purse sizes and increase opportunities for all players, and I’m sure they are also going to do that here [on the DP World Tour].

“As bad as things are right now, I’m hoping some good comes with it.”

Watch this space…