Connect with us

Golf

LIV’s Westwood slams European golf for being ‘in bed’ with PGA Tour

Lee Westwood has hit out at the European Tour for being “fully in bed” with the US PGA Tour circuit, adding that it was now like a “feeder” for American golf.

Westwood and fellow Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia resigned Wednesday from the European Tour and so will be ineligible to represent the continent in the latest edition of the biennial contest against the United States in Rome later this year.

The trio have all joined the breakaway Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit.

Last month, the European Tour won its legal battle with rebels after the players appealed against punishments the tour wanted to impose on those who took part in the inaugural LIV event last year.

Former world number one Westwood, 2017 Masters champion Garcia and Poulter have 53 European Tour victories between them.

Twelve players, including Westwood, Poulter and Richard Bland, appealed against the sanctions imposed last year.

The case arose when players requested releases to play in the LIV Golf event at the Centurion Club in England in June.

Those requests were denied but the players competed regardless and were fined £100,000 ($125,000) and suspended from the Scottish Open and two other events.

Westwood, regarded as one of the best golfers of his generation never to have won one of the sport’s four major championships, said he had paid the fine and was keen to “move on”.

But in an interview with Thursday’s Daily Telegraph he repeated his criticism of the way golf’s two major established circuits — the US PGA Tour and Europe’s DP World Tour — have responded to the development of LIV Golf.

“I’ve been a dual member of the European Tour and PGA Tour, but always said I was a European Tour member first and foremost and that I had fears about the US circuit basically being bullies and doing everything it could to secure global dominance,” Westwood said.

The 50-year-old Englishman added: “Check my old quotes, it’s all there.

“But now, in my opinion, the European Tour has jumped fully in bed with the PGA Tour and even though Keith (Pelley, the chief executive) says he hates to hear it, it is now a feeder tour for the PGA Tour.

“The top 10 players on the tour, not already exempt this year, have a pathway to the PGA Tour — that’s giving our talent away. That was never the tour’s policy before this ‘strategic alliance’.

“Sorry, I don’t want to play under that sort of regime.

“I mulled it over and just didn’t like the thought of the tour continuously hitting us with more fines and bans that would have been hanging over me.

“I’ve paid my fine out of respect for the arbitration panel and have then taken the decisions out of the tour’s hands. I honestly want to move on.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

World Cup News

Advertisement

More in Golf