Queen Ordains Westwood as Officer of the Order of the British Empire
By Stephanie Wei under European PGA Tour

Westwood: practically royalty!

World No. 2 golfer Lee Westwood was among the list of sports stars honored by Queen Elizabeth II in her birthday list. (I guess it’s like a wish list?) Westwood, who has bounced back-and-forth between No. 1 and 2 in the world rankings, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. I’m not sure what this means exactly, but it sounds important, right?! According to Wikipedia, it’s part of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, which King George V decided to fabricate in 1917 (when the glory days of the British Empire were coming to an end). But what does this all mean exactly? Oh, it must have some effect on the snooty (but awesome and intriguing) British class system.

It’s not quite knighthood, but just three levels below. Westwood probably needs to snag a major or two before we have to start calling him “Sir” a la “Sir Nick Faldo.”

Here’s the AP report with the names of other sportsmen recognized:

Westwood, who has had two recent stays at No. 1 in the world and is now No. 2 behind countryman Luke Donald, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Cecil was given a knighthood for more than 40 years of service to horse racing, and David Higgins, an Australian who led the construction program for London 2012 as chief executive of the Olympics Delivery Authority, also received the top honor available.

England captain Andrew Strauss, who guided his country’s test team to a successful defense of the Ashes on Australian soil, was given an OBE for services to the sport while fellow opening batsman and man-of-the-series Alastair Cook was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire. England cricket coach Andy Flower also received an OBE as did John Amaechi, who became the first openly gay NBA player after coming out in 2007.

Congrats, Westy! Now go on and defend your title in Memphis.

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)