Westwood calls US a hotspot, feels unsafe; prefers UK right now

Lee Westwood. Pic: Getty Images

Newcastle-on-Tyne, July 26: Lee Westwood is in no hurry to get to the United States, where the next two weeks will see the WGC-St. Jude Invitational followed by the PGA Championship, the first Major to be held in 2020. This is despite the US dropping the two-week quarantine rule for players, caddies and other personnel entering the US for the PGA Tour.

Asked if he would go to the US, Westwood, who has played 82 Majors, said, “No. I know they’ve dropped the two week quarantine now but I still don’t feel comfortable and I don’t feel like it is right to jump on a plane for 12 hours. I’ve felt like out of my comfort zone this week, so if I got to Memphis I would feel uncomfortable playing golf tournaments at the moment.

“I’m 28 years of playing on Tour and this is a shock to the system, isn’t it?  Whenever I come out and play the tournaments now it is almost about seeing my mates and the sociable element of it all and you’re not getting that at the moment. You finish playing golf and go to the range. I’ve never seen so

many players on the range at 8 o’clock at night trying to avoid their hotel rooms. There is a lot of think about where to play coming up really.”

He added that he is struggling for motivation and said, “It’s just not the life I’m used to. I go out on the golf course and I am struggling for motivation a little bit. There is a lot more to consider. The two America tournaments, next week and the following week, I’m still more concerned that America doesn’t take it as seriously as the rest of the world.

“It still seems to be one of the hotspots for outbreaks. I can control me not getting the virus and take all the measures I can, but somebody might pass it on. I don’t really want to get ill with it and I’m slightly asthmatic. If I tested in Memphis I would have to stay there for two weeks and I’m not sure about insurance policies etc. Right now there are too many what ifs. If you take all them into consideration, there is something wrong. So probably Hanbury Manor will be the next one for me.”

On how the European Tour measured up this week, he gave them full marks. “The Tour and Close House have done an amazing job. When we turned up on Monday, I was surprised how thorough everything was. I knew we were going to be on lockdown but the testing protocol we have all been through have been a success. I don’t think anybody has tested positive so hopefully they will carry on next week.”

The host this week of the Betfred British Masters, concluded, “But I feel like I should play in a few of the UK Swing events to support the European Tour because they have done such an unbelievable job of putting on these tournaments.”

With the European Tour using Westwood as the face of the return to golf, he should soon be a Ryder Cup captain, too. Now that is something Westwood would cherish and expect after decades of service to Tour on which he has played for 28 years and been on 10 Ryder Cup teams.



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