'They Have Always Been Bullies' - Westwood Attacks PGA Tour

Speaking to Golf Digest, Westwood spoke about LIV Golf and how he is 'not convinced by the strategic alliance'

Westwood stares on
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lee Westwood is one of the most known figures in the game of golf, with a career spanning four decades, that includes 44 professional wins worldwide, as well as 11 Ryder Cup appearances.

Over the past few months, the Englishman has left the PGA Tour circuit and jumped to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series. Now, in an exclusive interview with Golf Digest, Westwood has given his thoughts on an array of topics, including the strategic alliance between the DP World and PGA Tours, as well as the recent changes announced by the PGA Tour to combat LIV Golf.

Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley at Wentworth prior to the 2021 BMW PGA Championship

PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan and European Tour CEO, Keith Pelley, chat at the BMW PGA Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I’m not convinced by the strategic alliance because I’ve seen how the PGA Tour has behaved over the years,” states the 49-year-old, who turns 50 in just six months time. “There’s not been much ‘give.’ They have always been bullies and now they are getting their comeuppance. 

"All the PGA Tour has done since Tiger came on tour is up the prize purses. In turn, that has taken all the best players from Europe away from the European Tour. They’ve had to play in the States, taking all their World Ranking points with them. That was their strategy: ‘Put up the money. Get all the players. Hog all the World Ranking points', which becomes self-perpetuating. What we have seen over the last few months is just LIV doing what the PGA Tour has done for the last 25 years.”

His comments have also been backed up by fellow countryman, Richard Bland, who recently stated: “I personally think this deal they’ve just done is awful. How can you give your 10 best players to the PGA Tour every single year? I don’t get it."

Richard Bland golf swing follow through

Both Bland and Westwood have featured in the opening three LIV Golf tournaments

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Featuring in all three of the opening LIV Golf events, Westwood has earned around $1.5 million for his troubles, with $500,000 of that coming in the team portion of the tournaments.

Recently, the PGA Tour announced multiple changes which included the introduction of four elevated events, as well as a Player Impact Program purse that will increase to $100m.

These increases haven't sat well with Westwood however, with the 25-time European Tour winner stating: “I laugh at what the PGA Tour players have come up with. It’s just a copy of what LIV is doing, there are a lot of hypocrites out there. They all say LIV is ‘not competitive.’ They all point at the no-cut aspect of LIV and the ‘short fields.’ 

"Now, funnily enough, they are proposing 20 events that look a lot like LIV. Hopefully, at some point they will all choke on their words. And hopefully, they will be held to account as we were in the early days.”

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x