Lee Westwood putting health over wealth by sticking with the European Tour

2 min


Lee Westwood putting health over wealth by sticking with the European Tour

Lee Westwood will be putting health above wealth and skipping the big pay days in the United States to concentrate on European golf for the foreseeable future. The asthmatic 47-year-old, who tops the bill at the European Tour’s comeback tournament at Close House near Newcastle today, is wary of travelling to the United States while coronavirus figures remain high across the Atlantic.

While Europe’s other leading lights have been drawn to the relative riches of the PGA Tour, Westwood is content to build his schedule closer to home instead, starting with the Betfred British Masters, having already written off the US PGA Championship next month.

“Nobody wants to miss Majors or World Golf Championship events like the one next week that I qualified for but it wasn’t that hard a decision,” said Westwood.

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“I hear today that California is back in lockdown and it doesn’t inspire me to get on a plane for 12 hours and go to San Francisco and play the PGA Championship. I don’t feel like I’m ready to do that.

“Hopefully I can play the US Open in New York but right now who knows?

“The United States seems to have a lot of cases and to be paying the price for not clamping down on it earlier.”

The regulations are strict for the European Tour’s full resumption after two dual-ranking events in Austria with mandatory Covid tests on arrival at Close House, no fans and even elbow bumps banned.

Players must remain in a designated event hotel in the evening with a maximum of one designated ‘buddy’.

The Tour’s hardline approach may not be much fun – although with his fiancee on his bag as his buddy it is no great personal hardship for Westwood – but it seems to be working.

As of last night there had been no positive tests – unlike in the USA where Grayson Murray became the latest player to test positive and pull out of tomorrow’s 3M Open.

“The testing procedure has been very thorough – military-style almost,” said Westwood.

“There”s not a moment in the day when it doesn’t feel like your health is being checked or someone has their eye on you and I think that is probably a good thing right now.

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“People need guidance and if you look back over the last five or six months at the way the public have been treated, there have been too many grey areas and that is what the European Tour have been trying to eradicate.”

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