One thing I’ve learned from following professional golf over the last couple of years: Talor Gooch isn’t someone who should be taken seriously.

Following LIV Portland in 2022, Gooch said that he’s never played in a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, but he couldn’t imagine the experience being much different from the experience in Portland that week. It was true in Gooch’s head, therefore it must be true in reality. In an Australian Golf Digest article published yesterday, Gooch argued that “If Rory McIlroy goes and completes his [Career] Grand Slam without some of the best players in the world, there’s just going to be an asterisk. It’s just the reality.” It’s true in Gooch’s head, so I guess it is reality.

The latest Gooch complaint is another example of how detached from actual reality many professional golfers are, regardless of which tour they play on. Expressing something ridiculous followed by “Sorry but it’s just true” does not make it true. In 2017, Dustin Johnson entered Masters week at the height of his powers. Coming off back-to-back wins at the Genesis Open and the WGC-Mexico, DJ was the pre-tournament betting favorite until he infamously injured his back in his Augusta rental home and withdrew from the tournament. Dustin Johnson’s absence had a significant impact on the tournament, yet nobody pins an asterisk to the green jacket Sergio Garcia won that week. If there wasn’t an asterisk when the best player in the world pulled out of the tournament, there won’t be one because Talor Gooch and Dean Burmester aren’t in the field.

A certain level of delusion is likely helpful when pursuing professional golf. The ability to craft a narrative that motivates you, whether it’s grounded in reality or not, is probably helpful in persisting through challenging, lonely times on the professional golf circuit. That same delusion isn’t exactly helpful, though, in convincing people to take you seriously.

This piece originally appeared in the Fried Egg Golf newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.