Lee Westwood is not impressed by the $11 million you just won, Jim Furyk. Westwood turned down membership on the PGA Tour next year, citing apathy toward the FedEx Cup.
“I don’t want to be dictated to by having to go to America to play FedEx Cup when it doesn’t really mean that much to me,” said the 37-year-old. “It doesn’t mean enough to me anyway.”
Maybe he wouldn’t feel this way if the Tour Championship was a 32-player match play field, eventually pitting two golfers against each other in a final match for $11 million. (I know it’s a pipe dream, but seriously, how cool would that be? Talk about a real playoff.)
Back to reality. Westwood is pretty staunch in his support for the European Tour, which is refreshingly loyal.
“I had my US Tour card in 2006, ’07 and ’08 and there were times I was teeing up just to make up the numbers. I don’t want to do that again. The only reason I would join the US Tour is for money.
“I don’t see another reason. I like the European Tour and I want to support it. It is my personal preference to play here more,” he said, rejecting the suggestion that it would be harder to maintain, or improve his world ranking, by sticking with the European Tour.
“It is hard full stop. I don’t think it is any harder. I think it would be harder if you were forced into a lifestyle change you didn’t want to see happen. I play well because I am happy. I have my family, my house here.”
We will be seeing Graeme McDowell more around these parts, as he accepted his PGA Tour membership.
“I won’t be playing as many events in America as, say, Luke Donald and Justin Rose, but I am taking up my card,” he said. “I had one in 2006 but got injured early in that season and now I want to give it a real try.”
Ryder Cup partner Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, said he will cut his appearances in the U.S.
“I will only be playing 25 tournaments in all next year as against 29 on both tours this year,” said the 21-year-old Northern Irishman. “I only want to play in tournaments that really mean something and not just turning up to some events because I think I should be there.”
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)