Lee Westwood Criticises DP World Tour After Abu Dhabi Promo Snub

2020 Abu Dhabi champion questions DP World Tour behaviour after being left off promotional material for this year

Lee Westwood takes a shot at the 2022 LIV Golf Bangkok event
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lee Westwood has voiced his concern at the apparent wiping of himself and other LIV Golf players from DP World Tour tournament media coverage, saying it may put off current and future sponsors.

Some critics first hit out at the DP World Tour when claiming that Spaniard Adrian Otaegui was not getting enough coverage as he led the Andalucia Masters.

The Spaniard became the first LIV Golf player to win on the DP World Tour circuit when he claimed a six-shot win at that Andalucía Masters, but some said his victory wasn’t covered enough due to his allegiances to Greg Norman’s outfit.

Ian Poulter was also unhappy with the DP World Tour last year when he claimed to have been denied footage of him playing in the D+D Real Czech Masters in Prague to show on his social media platforms.

Many have said the PGA Tour is also trying to erase LIV Golf stars from their recent history by not including them in promotional material for upcoming events.

Now, Twitter account @flushingitgolf posted about the DP World Tour’s media release for the upcoming Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, where several previous winners got a mention but not 2020 champion Westwood, who is returning to action on Tour while also being a LIV Golf player.

“The European Tour is following the lead of the PGA Tour and trying to ignore history,” read the social media post. “Lee Westwood is playing and he won in 2020 and has been an integral part of Europe’s Ryder Cup dominance. Ignoring it is playground, “you’re not my friend anymore” behaviour.”

Westwood responded to the post personally on Twitter, saying that while he’s not too concerned about being left out of the promo, he did wonder what the DP World Tour’s sponsors made of the alleged deliberate snub.

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“I’ll not lose any sleep,” said Westwood. “I do however wonder what long term sponsors like HSBC & Rolex think of this behaviour. They’re the ones putting the money up and I wonder if their best interests are being served.”

It’s just the start of the season but the back biting and name calling has already started between LIV Golf players and the DP World and PGA Tour – and with more LIV golfers expected to play in regular events while they can, and the Majors, the feud will only get worse.

Fellow LIV Golf players Poulter and Henrik Stenson are also in the field for Abu Dhabi, with Poulter one of the more vocal players who has fought to remain eligible for DP World Tour events, while Stenson of course had to relinquish the Ryder Cup captaincy when he joined the Saudi-backed outfit.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.