Lee Westwood talks fan reception, LIV participant court docket case — and ‘fantasy world’

Lee Westwood hits his tee shot on Sunday on the 18th gap at Wentworth Golf Membership.

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No, Lee Westwood doesn’t understand how a DP World Tour-LIV Golf participant trial will go. And no, one other LIV participant’s suggestion forward of the day in court docket most likely gained’t fly. 

And sure, Westwood believes he’s in good type. And sure, the fan reception this week was nice. 

Westwood’s post-BMW PGA Championship session with reporters on Sunday was brief — simply 11 questions at Wentworth Golf Membership — however filling. His week was polarizing; there was his golf, and his golf excursions. And he talked on each topics, although the dialog was chippy at occasions.  

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We’ll begin with the golf golf. The 49-year-old Englishman, after a stretch of common play — 4 cuts in eight occasions on the PGA Tour, then finishes of twenty ninth and sixteenth in his first occasions on the 48-man LIV Golf collection — is taking part in higher. In July, on the Open Championship, Westwood tied for thirty fourth. With LIV, he tied for fourth final week, after ending ninth within the circuit’s third occasion. On Sunday, through the last spherical of the BMW PGA, he shot a seven-under 65.

And the galleries in Surrey, England, after a postponement of play late Thursday and all of Friday because of the loss of life of Queen Elizabeth II, had been appreciative, Westwood stated. 

“You understand, the followers are at all times actually good right here, however this week, it’s been actually particular,” he stated. “Clearly you realize, Her Majesty passing away, everyone is a little bit somber and downbeat, however they appear to be they went on the market and actually loved their golf right this moment, the followers, as we did and tried to present them one thing to get pleasure from. It’s an leisure sport, isn’t it. Present a couple of birdies.”

The query of fan response today isn’t with out different that means, and that brings us to LIV Golf. Briefly, Westwood is a longtime DP World Tour and PGA Tour professional who has joined the menace to each leagues, LIV Golf, and he and 17 different LIV golfers are taking part in the BMW PGA on the DP World Tour, forward of a trial that ought to decide whether or not he and different LIV gamers can play extra DP World Tour occasions sooner or later. Perhaps that wasn’t brief. Anyway, you knew the proceedings could get no less than a little bit awkward, and feedback forward of the event recommended as a lot.

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Westwood himself has been vocal earlier than on the topic, together with on the Open Championship, the place he, amongst different ideas, stated that “the media are stoking it up and doing as a lot as they’ll to help that. I feel most people simply wish to go on the market and see good golf regardless of the place it’s being performed or who’s taking part in it.”

On Sunday, he was requested for a prediction on the trial, which is scheduled for early subsequent 12 months. And the trade went in addition to it’s possible you’ll suppose. 

“Have you ever acquired any sense of how the case will go in February?” a reporter requested. “Any concept which approach the wind is blowing? Your authorized thoughts.”

“Do I appear to be a lawyer?” Westwood stated. 

“Any discussions you’ve had?” a reporter continued.  

“No, and I don’t know what everyone is after, both, as a result of there’s combined messages coming from everyone,” Westwood stated. “So no, go away you to it.”

Staying on the topic, a reporter then requested Westwood for his ideas on an concept from Graeme McDowell, who, like Westwood, can also be a longtime PGA Tour and DP World Tour golfer now taking part in for LIV. Earlier within the week, McDowell supplied that there shouldn’t be a trial, telling the Guardian, “Let’s ship 326 emails out and perhaps two movies — one from the LIV gamers saying we’d like to assist this tour eight, 10, 12 occasions a 12 months, after which the opposite aspect of it’s [DP World Tour commissioner] Keith Pelley’s assertion this week.” 

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Westwood’s reply was, at first, brief. 

“No matter is the fairest approach.”

“Do you see that as a good approach?” a reporter requested. 

“I’ve not encountered any animosity from the opposite gamers this week,” Westwood stated. “You understand, they gained’t go for that, will they? Let’s face it, we don’t stay in a fantasy world, will we? Effectively a few of us do.

“No, I imply, all I’ll say is I’ve had a extremely good reception this week relating to gamers and followers and a lot of the European Tour workers as nicely, which is what I’d anticipate as a result of they’re all professionals.”

So what’s subsequent for him? Earlier than the trial comes, Westwood will play in LIV’s last 4 occasions, although he stated he wasn’t positive when he would play once more on the DP World Tour. [On the PGA Tour, players are suspended.] There’s additionally a chance, Westwood stated, that he’ll play LIV’s last occasion, on the finish of subsequent month, then not play once more till subsequent 12 months. 

“Presumably, yeah,” Westwood stated. “You understand, I actually don’t know. It offers me choices, doesn’t it? I’d play a pair in there. I imply, I’m the type of participant that should tick over a little bit bit, however only in the near past, I’ve been taking 4 weeks off after which ending fourth final week and performed nicely this week. I can simply play it by ear.” 

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Journal. In his function, he’s answerable for modifying, writing and growing tales throughout the golf house. And when he’s not writing about methods to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native might be taking part in the sport, hitting the ball left, proper and brief, and consuming a chilly beer to scrub away his rating. You possibly can attain out to him about any of those subjects — his tales, his sport or his beers — at [email protected]

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