Lee Westwood would 'love' Team GB spot

2015 05 474379892
• Lee Westwood in favour of golf being in the Olympic Games
• Insists a gold medal couldn't rank alongside the four majors
• "Majors are always going to be the highest achievement in golf"

LEE WESTWOOD

Lee Westwood says he is in favour of golf being in the Olympic Games - but insisted that a gold medal would not be as significant an achievement as winning one of the game's four majors.


Golf will make its return to the quadrennial sporting event in Rio de Janeiro next year, 114 years after it last featured.

Earlier this month, the 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott was scathing about the prospect of teeing it up in the Olympics, calling it an 'exhibition'. He added: "Winning an Olympic medal is not something I have ever aspired to do."

However, visiting Silvermere Golf Club - where he delivered a clinic on behalf of Bushnell, the No.1 rangefinder in golf - former world No.1 Westwood took a different view.

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"It's going to be interesting," said the 42-year-old. "I think the players are all keen to represent whoever it is they're going to represent and it'll certainly be good for golf in terms of funding and getting the sport to a wider audience.

"I'd love the opportunity play for Team GB but it'll be a difficult team to qualify for. I think you're only allowed a maximum of four players from each country, so there are going to be an awful lot of disappointed people."

Lee Westwood added that, like Scott, he 'hadn't been keen' on golf returning to the Olympic Games set-up at first, but has since come around to the idea after seeing the way that other top sports players have relished the opportunity to be involved.
"Majors are always going to be the highest achievement in golf" - Lee Westwood

"I remember watching the last couple of opening ceremonies and seeing guys like Federer and Nadal carrying their country's flags, and the same with basketball star LeBron James," said Lee Westwood, "They've obviously embraced it and it clearly means a lot to them, so maybe that's the way us golfers should be about it, too."

However, on the prospect of a gold medal being held in the same regard as winning the Masters, US Open, Open or PGA Championship, Lee Westwood was unequivocal.

"Majors are always going to be the highest achievement in golf," he insisted. "That's why I was against it at first. I grew up watching the 100m and things that like and you'd see the winners standing proud as punch on the podium with their medals because that was the greatest thing they could do in their sport, whereas in golf it's never going to be like that.

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World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play - Round Three

"But having seen tennis players, like Andy Murray, be so pleased to represent their country, participate in the Games and win medals, I've come around to the idea. Clearly, the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open are still the biggest events in tennis but it's clear how much they enjoy being part of the Olympics, too."

Meanwhile, Lee Westwood has also told bunkered.co.uk that he will not be joining the stellar field that is assembling for the Scottish Open at Gullane in July.

The Englishman, a winner of the event in 1998 when it was called the Standard Life Loch Lomond, will instead play in the French Open at Le Golf National a week earlier as he ramps up his preparations for the Open Championship at St Andrews.

Lee Westwood on the Olympics :: Your thoughts


Do you agree with Lee Westwood's thoughts on the Olympics? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.

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