Lee Westwood BLASTS DP World Tour before slamming door shut on resignation

"Nobody told us extent of punishments" Lee Westwood rips into DP World Tour before tearing up card. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 4 May 2023
Lee Westwood BLASTS DP World Tour before slamming door shut on resignation

Lee Westwood has come down hard on the DP World Tour after officially announcing his resignation from the circuit where he has spent close to 30 years applying his trade. 

Speaking to The Telegraph's James Corrigan following his 'sad' European Tour exit, the legendary English pro who now competes on LIV Golf explained how 'nobody' on the DP World Tour 'told us the extent of the punishments' for moving to the Saudi-bankrolled league. 

The former World No.1 also believes the 'European Tour has jumped fully in bed with the PGA Tour' and that it has now become a 'feeder tour'. 

Westwood, 50, was one of four LIV Golf players to officially announce their resignation from the DP World Tour on Wednesday. 

Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Richard Bland joined Westwood in tearing up their DP World Tour cards. 

All four players were sanctioned for serious breaches of the DP World Tour's 'conflicting tournament regulations' committed last June when they competed in the very first LIV Golf tournament at Centurion Club in England. 

In a statement sent to the media on Wednesday night, the DP World Tour made it clear "their resignations are a consequence of their own choices."

More LIV Golf players holding DP World Tour cards are expected to also announce their resignations within the next 24 hours, according to reports. 

It now means none of them can ever captain a European Ryder Cup side. 

Current skipper Luke Donald says their resignations mark a "sad" day on the DP World Tour but that it also gives him greater "clarity" over his team to face the United States in Rome this September. 

Westwood told Corrigan: 

"I was a kid when I played my first European event – the Madeira Islands Open in 1994 when I won about £3,000 for finishing tied 19th. I’ve had amazing times, including all those Ryder Cups. 
"I wouldn’t change those years for the world and feel I made a contribution to the tour. I’m not great on stats but I must have played something like 600 events, won more than 20 titles, and three Order of Merits. So no, I never would have believed it had ended like this and there has to be a bit of sadness, of course.
"People say I knew exactly what would happen, but nobody told us the extent of the punishments, and they continue to do that. The way I view it is that, as a European Tour member, I was allowed to be a member of the PGA Tour without any problem for all those years. Tell me, what is the difference? Just because LIV is funded by the Saudis – a country where my tour used to play and where we were encouraged to play?
"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. 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. Like, I always played on the Asian Tour, and got releases no problem. But then they said I shouldn’t play in the Indonesian Open at the end of last year. Come on. No thanks, I don’t want to play that game. Anyway, I’ve said all this before. It should be obvious why I’ve resigned."

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