Lee Westwood has highlighted what he believes are the double standards that prompted his decision to formally resign from the DP World Tour.
Along with Sergio Garcia, Richard Bland and Ian Poulter, Westwood quit the tour on Wednesday following an independent arbitration hearing ruling against the LIV Golf defectors and in favour of Europe’s decision to impose sanctions on its wantaway former stars.
From the outset, Westwood has believed he and his fellow LIV players were simply exercising their right as independent contractors to play on any tour they wished, however, the DP World Tour warned them of the consequences should they accept colossal signing on fees from the Saudis, and the warnings have now come home to roost.
Westwood has all but left the tour kicking and screaming despite the DP World Tour providing him the platform that ultimately led to his signing for the Saudi backed circuit for what was believed to be a sum between $20-30m.
And after seeing his Ryder Cup future come to an abrupt end, Westwood couldn’t help one further jibe, saying he was unwilling to play under a regime like CEO Keith Pelley’s Europe, though evidently content to play under the LIV Golf banner, funded directly by a regime described as “heinous” by Amnesty International.
“The way I view it is, as a European Tour member, I was allowed to be a member of the PGA Tour without any problem for all those years,” Westwood told The Telegraph.
“Tell me, what is the difference? Just because LIV is funded by the Saudis – a country where my tour used to play and where we were encouraged to play?
“I’ve been a dual member of the European Tour and PGA Tour, but always said I was a European Tour member first and foremost and that I had fears about the US circuit basically being bullies and doing everything it could to secure global dominance.
“But now, in my opinion, the European Tour has jumped fully in bed with the PGA Tour and even though Keith [Pelley] says he hates to hear it, it is now a feeder tour for the PGA Tour. The top 10 players on the Tour, not already exempt this year, have a pathway to the PGA Tour – that’s giving our talent away. That was never the tour’s policy before this ‘strategic alliance’.
“Sorry, I don’t want to play under that sort of regime. I always played on the Asian Tour, and got releases no problem. But then they said I shouldn’t play in the Indonesian Open at the end of last year. Come on. No thanks, I don’t want to play that game.
“It should be obvious why I’ve resigned.”
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