Lee Westwood Rules Himself Out Of 2021 Tokyo Olympics

The Englishman is the latest player to take the decision to skip the Olympics

Lee Westwood Rules Himself Out Of 2021 Tokyo Olympics

The Englishman is the latest player to take the decision to skip the Olympics

Lee Westwood Rules Himself Out Of 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Lee Westwood is the latest big-name player to opt out of this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

There’s no guarantee the current World No. 21 would have qualified, but speaking ahead of this week’s PGA Championship, the Englishman stated that regardless of qualification, he won’t be teeing it up at Kasumigaseki CC at the end of July.

“I have already pulled out. I've given notice that I'm not going to play in the Olympics,” the 48-year-old explained when asked if his thoughts were on the Tokyo Games.

Expanding on the reasons behind the decision, Westwood cited the already congested schedule and his age as factors.

“Many, many reasons. I have a few family commitments, and I already proved a few weeks ago that playing seven in eight weeks is not good for me,” he continued.  

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“And there's already a lot of tournaments crammed in around there - Scottish Open, Open Championship. I need a couple of weeks off between there and the FedEx in Memphis. 

“Then there's only another week off and I could be playing three FedExCup events, the PGA, a week off, then the Ryder Cup. I want to be in good shape for all of those. 

“I think going to Japan the week before Memphis, just with all that going on, is a bad idea, especially when I can't say whether I'm in it at the moment anyway. 

“I'm of an age where I need to make a plan and stick to that going forward, else my game suffers.”

Westwood now joins the likes of World No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott in announcing their withdrawal from the tournament that endured similar setbacks in 2016 as a result of the Zika virus. 

However, Westwood thinks a tweak to the competition and qualification process could make it a more appealing option for players in the future.

“I know why they brought the Olympics to golf, and I'm all for that. It's taking it to another audience, and obviously the funding from the Olympic committee feeds down through golf, which is great. 

“I just feel like maybe they didn't quite get the format right or the players that play in it right and the qualification right.”

After more than a century since its last playing, golf was reinstated as an Olympic sport in 2016 when Justin Rose won gold for Team GB.

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1