Lee Westwood lobs a grenade: "I look at the tour now and wonder what it is"

LIV Golf's Lee Westwood has questioned the future of the DP World Tour at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by taking a subtle dig at their PGA Tour alliance.

Lee Westwood lobs a grenade: "I look at the tour now and wonder what it is"
Lee Westwood lobs a grenade: "I look at the tour now and wonder what it is"

Lee Westwood, who plays in LIV Golf League events, says it will be good to finally get some clarity over his DP World Tour future as he questioned the future of the European-based circuit. 

Westwood, now 49 years old, is participating in his 30th season as a professional golfer at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. 

He was one of several players who were fined £100,000 and suspended from the circuit after playing in LIV Golf's maiden event. 

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A stay was put on those proceedings and next month a sporting arbitration case will determine whether Westwood's career with the former European Tour ends with a whimper. 

Henrik Stenson, also playing in the same event, has the confidence LIV players will prevail in the five-day hearing in London. 

Westwood told the media he wants to remain as a DP World Tour member. 

Though the former World No.1 questioned their alliance with the PGA Tour, saying the American circuit is "forcing the hand" of its players. 

Westwood said: 

"It's a $9m tournament and there is only one member of the world's top 20. People might claim that as LIV players we aren't welcome here, but probably because of this field, I've had loads coming up to me and thanking me for playing.
"I'm not being disrespectful to 15th place on the Challenge Tour but they have got in this week and this is a short field because of the daylight with only 120-odd players. I've never known it go so far down the list. And we all know why.
"Next week's field in Dubai is similar to here.
"So you have two $9m events, back to back, an hour's drive apart, in near perfect conditions.
"If you're not going to get strong fields, like half a dozen of the world's top 20, to these, then you're never going to get them are you?"

Lee Westwood lobs a grenade:

He continued: 

"The PGA Tour is forcing the hands of its top players to play and it stops them from appearing here.
"The FedEx Cup is structured around making every player play every week they can, which doesn't leave much left for anyone else does it?
"And with the world rankings as they are now – and I've said enough about that – it's a double whammy for this Tour."

Westwood carded an opening round of 3-under at Yas Links. The field was led by European Ryder Cup captain, Luke Donald, who dismissed suggestions he could play in the 44th edition of the biennial dustup after his hot start. 

As for Westwood, he believes that he has supported the DP World Tour more than anyone. 

This is his 588th start. Of his 44 worldwide wins, 25 of have come on the European Tour. 

Lee Westwood lobs a grenade:

He added: 

"If I do get banned, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm not going to play a guessing game.
"But what I will say is this – it is my 588th event and I love the European Tour and like to think I've supported it better than anyone who has been in my position.
"Yet I look at the Tour now and wonder what it is.
"With the hearing, there is going to be some sort of line drawing in the sand. Clarity will be good because everything has been so vague, too vague."

Next page: Jon Rahm believes Ryder Cup decision has been made

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