Lee Westwood responds to Rory McIlroy’s criticism

Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood has revealed that he has spoken to Rory McIlroy after contentious comments made by the world No.1 last week.

Speaking ahead of the RBC Heritage, McIlroy said he doesn’t understand why some of his fellow players have decided not to play on the PGA Tour whilst COVID-19 quarantine restrictions remain in place.

“If you really care about your career and care about moving forward, you should be here,” said the Northern Irishman, adding that it’s “not a hardship” to travel to the US and quarantine for two weeks before playing.

Although he didn’t mention him by name, it could have been construed that McIlroy’s remarks were aimed, at least in part, at Westwood.

• US broadcaster calls for Masters to be re-named

• DJ under fire for 'disgusting' behaviour

• So Yeon Ryu makes incredible gesture

He, along with the likes of Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, has decided not to travel to the US for the PGA Tour’s first few events since emerging from its coronavirus-enforced hiatus.

Speaking to Worldwide Golf, the former world No.1 said that he had reached out to McIlroy following his comments.

“I did send Rory a text and we had a little chat about his comments,” said Westwood. “He’s probably had a rethink.

“It seems like the rest of the world is treating this pandemic a more seriously than the United States. You listen to people who talk about where the last PGA Tour event was [Hilton Head Island] and they say the area is open with people eating in restaurants and the beaches are packed while the rest of the world is still basically on lockdown.”

• Scottish Golf reinstates suspended club

• "Shut up and listen" - Koepka hits out!

The issue has been made more complex by the decision to re-start the Official World Golf Rankings with the return of the PGA Tour.

That, according to some, puts European Tour players at a distinct disadvantage, with that particular circuit not set to resume play until next month. Scotland’s Bob MacIntyre, for example, has slipped from 67th to 75th in the last two weeks, despite not having hit a ball and having nowhere to play.

Westwood added: “Rory’s entitled to his opinion but what he fails to explain in there is that only handful of European Tour players are eligible for those PGA Tour events. European players ranked from 50th upwards couldn’t get in those events and that’s the issue with the world ranking starting up.

• Ex Rangers chairman blamed for Player family feud

• Scots course to be reduced from 18 to 9 holes

“You’ve got all these American players playing in these events for world ranking points and they’re going to go past the Europeans in the OWGR because they have no tournaments to compete in.

“The world ranking is very important in regards to getting into the majors and the World Golf Championships and that to me doesn’t seem fair that the Europeans, South Africans and Australians that play on the European Tour lose out purely because of a global pandemic that’s hitting the world.”

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
6 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR WINTER GOLF
golf coaching
play button
Introducing... the top 5 drivers of 2020!
Drivers
play button
REAL GAME CHANGERS – Titleist TSi metalwoods review
Titleist
play button
Is this a cheaper and better ball??? – Vice Golf balls review
Vice
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

UH-OH! Bryson DeChambeau hits his biggest drive so far
£25m cash injection for popular Scottish course
Iconic UK course threatened by coastal erosion
WATCH - Frustrated Rory McIlroy snaps club at Zozo Championship
The day the Earth stood still: How Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Maintaining a strong dynamic loft at impact
Watch
play button
The importance of shoulder turn in the golf swing
Callaway
play button
Denis Pugh’s ball striking tips
Watch
play button
The correct posture is the key to consistency
Watch
See all videos right arrow