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Ryder Cup veteran Lee Westwood has described the PGA Tour as "bullies" and hit out at the strategic alliance arrangement it has in place with the DP World Tour, per a report in the Telegraph.
Westwood, who is one of many golfers to defect to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series, said: "I’m not convinced by the strategic alliance because I’ve seen how the PGA Tour has behaved over the years. There’s not been much ‘give.’ They have always been bullies. I have been telling Keith [Pelley - DP World Tour CEO] and other members of his board how this is all going to go for 12 months now. I told him that getting into bed with the PGA Tour was a mistake."
Earlier this year, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour announced a 13 year joint venture partnership as it bids to counter the threat of the Greg Norman-fronted LIV Golf Series.
One of the most significant moves of the arrangement will see the leading ten players on the end-of-season DP World Tour rankings earn PGA Tour cards for the following season, in addition to those already exempt, from 2023. Another key point was the guaranteed growth in annual prize funds across the next five years.
Perhaps most significant however, was that the PGA Tour will increase its stake in European Tour productions from 15% to 40% - a seismic increase when compared to the prior arrangement.
DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley described it as "a natural extension and progression of what we have been doing over the past few years," whilst PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan insisted it was a "powerful agreement for both sides."
Westwood's comments would seem to be the contrary, with the Englishman among a group that believes the DP World Tour should have accepted a reported $1billion offer from Golf Saudi back in 2021, which could have catapulted the circuit to a contender of, rather than apparent feeder for, the PGA Tour.
The Englishman is in the field at the flagship BMW PGA Championship event at Wentworth and reportedly flew in for crunch talks with DP World Tour chiefs earlier this week. Westwood, who is one of 17 LIV Golf members that will tee it up in Surrey, was said to be demanding clarity over the strategic alliance, as well as any further sanctions LIV golfers may face for signing up to the Series.
All LIV members have been excluded from the celebrity pro-am, encouraged not to wear LIV Golf apparel and will not be included in TV featured groups.
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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