English golfer Lee Westwood says that he and many other players have asked to be released from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to play in the first event of Greg Norman’s controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series. The $250 m series is regarded as the first incarnation of the proposed breakaway Super League. Robert Garrigus is another prominent player that has asked for permission to leave the PGA Tour to take part in the LIV Golf Invitational.
“This is my job. I do this for money. It’s not the only reason,” he said. “But if anybody comes along and gives us a chance at a pay raise, then you have to seriously consider it”. Richard Bland, who is the defending champion at British Masters this week at the Belfry has also requested to be released for the event, taking place at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire.
“Change in competition is good in any walk of life”
Westwood clarified that he was yet to hear back about his request to play in the series, but believes that the new series can operate and co-exist together. “It’s being portrayed as an ‘us and them’, whereas the people from LIV Golf, all the reports I’ve seen, have said that they want to stand side-by-side,” said the 49-year old.
He continued, “People always have a problem with change, don’t they? They are skeptical about it and people like continuity and they like just the same to carry on. Change in competition is good in any walk of life. It shakes things up and keeps everybody on their toes and keeps everybody trying to improve their product”.
Saudi Arabia has been accused of trying to ‘sports wash’ its reputation with this tournament. In response to this, Westwood said “I think Saudi Arabia is trying to become more westernized and make changes and they are trying to make changes quickly, and that’s probably worrying a lot of people and scaring a lot of people”.
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