LIV Golf International Series: Lee Westwood believes golf is more scrutinized than other sports compared to Saudi-backed golf series |  Golf News

LIV Golf International Series: Lee Westwood believes golf is more scrutinized than other sports compared to Saudi-backed golf series | Golf News


Westwood: “Formula 1 raced there. Newcastle United is partly Saudi-owned. There was boxing there and I think there was also snooker and darts. Golf is not not the first sport to have links with Saudi Arabia”

Last update: 22/05/04 21:01

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Lee Westwood says many players have requested release from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to play in the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series.

Lee Westwood says many players have requested release from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to play in the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series.

Lee Westwood has defended his decision to apply to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series next month and believes golf has been scrutinized more than other sports for their links to Saudi Arabia.

Westwood becomes the latest player to confirm plans to play Centurion Club from June 9-11, the first of eight events scheduled for 2022, after requesting releases from both the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour.

“We’ve played on the European Tour in Saudi Arabia and I’ve had releases from the PGA Tour saying I can play in Saudi Arabia so it hasn’t been a problem for them in previous years,” Westwood said. Sky Sports News ahead of the British Masters.

Lee Westwood plans to take part in the LIV Golf Invitational series at the Centurion Club next month

Lee Westwood plans to take part in the LIV Golf Invitational series at the Centurion Club next month

“Formula 1 raced there. Newcastle United is partly Saudi-owned. There was boxing there and I think there was also snooker and darts.

“Golf isn’t the first sport to have ties to Saudi Arabia, but it seems to be more scrutinized than anyone else. Whether you think it’s true or not, that’s the individual’s opinion.

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“I think Saudi Arabia obviously knows they have problems. I think a lot of countries in the world have problems and I think they are trying to improve. They are trying to do it through sport, which many places, many countries do.

“I think they’re doing it a lot faster than some countries have tried to do and that maybe worries or scares people. People don’t like change, they like continuity and things stay the same. same.”

Matthew Southgate sees merit in Saudi-backed golf tour, arguing guaranteed income would appeal to him

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Matthew Southgate sees merit in Saudi-backed golf tour, arguing guaranteed income would appeal to him

Matthew Southgate sees merit in Saudi-backed golf tour, arguing guaranteed income would appeal to him

Reigning British Masters champion Richard Bland told the media ahead of his title defense at the Belfry that he had asked to feature next month, with Westwood also relishing the opportunity to compete on home soil.

“I put out a PGA Tour and DP World Tour exit, like a lot of people have,” Westwood added. “That’s kind of the stage we’re at and everything that follows is just ifs and buts and speculation.

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“It’s an opportunity to play in a big tournament, against some of the best players in the world, in England. I love playing in England in front of home fans, so whenever there’s an opportunity like that, I feel like I should grab it.”

Phil Mickelson’s agent revealed last month that the six-time major winner had requested a release from the PGA Tour to play the first event in June, with Robert Garrigus among the others requesting permission to also be part of the 48-man squad.

After PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan says the tour is about 'legacy not leverage' after rumors of a Saudi-backed golf league, Jaime Diaz examines what what golf needs to keep fans interested

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After PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan says the tour is about ‘legacy not leverage’ after rumors of a Saudi-backed golf league, Jaime Diaz examines what what golf needs to keep fans interested

After PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan says the tour is about ‘legacy not leverage’ after rumors of a Saudi-backed golf league, Jaime Diaz examines what what golf needs to keep fans interested

Previous media reports have suggested that any player involved in the Saudi-backed tour could be risking any hopes of captaining Europe’s Ryder Cup team in the future, although Westwood said that would not be the case. played no part in his decision to compete.

“That ball is in the court of the European Tour,” admitted Westwood. “I have no influence on their way of thinking. I’m an independent contractor. I work for myself, it’s my job and I have to do what’s right for me.”

Lynch: Westwood presented himself as a willing stooge

Golf journalist Eamon Lynch criticized Westwood’s action and comments during an appearance on the golf chain.

“We know what the players are interested in here is the money, it’s not really more complicated than that,” Lynch said. “But let’s be clear what the Saudis are interested in here is using golf to normalize the state, normalize all their abuses and distract them.

Golf Channel's Eamon Lynch said Westwood was complicit in sports washing after he asked to be released from the PGA Tour to play in the first Saudi-backed golf event.

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Golf Channel’s Eamon Lynch said Westwood was complicit in sports washing after he asked to be released from the PGA Tour to play in the first Saudi-backed golf event.

Golf Channel’s Eamon Lynch said Westwood was complicit in sports washing after he asked to be released from the PGA Tour to play in the first Saudi-backed golf event.

“For that they need two things, money – of which they have plenty – and willing stooges, of which Lee Westwood has just announced that he is one.

“When he says Formula 1 and Premier League football have taken the money, that’s sportwashing in evidence here. That’s the purpose of sportwashing, so the next guy that they’ll try to buy to pay his conscience will say, ‘well somebody else took the money so why not me?

“I was really struck by every time he said of the Saudi regime, ‘they know they have problems, they’re trying to improve.’ Well, maybe one way Lee Westwood could help his buddies get better is to tell them not to execute 81 people in one day, to stop firing missiles at civilians in Yemen, but Lee Westwood wants to take a check to play a golf tournament and then say he is somehow helping to improve people’s lives in Saudi Arabia, which is not the case.

“He’s right, all the other counties have problems too, but not all of them are trying to use golf to distract themselves from those problems.”

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