Euros Note Yank Snub Of Wentworth
SURREY, ENGLAND | President Obama was in
London last week discussing with Prime Minister Cameron whether the UK and the U.S. still
has a special relationship or merely an essential one. There were no such vagaries with the
golfers down the road at Wentworth. There’s
barely a relationship at all.
The top 50 players in the world are eligible
for the UK’s BMW PGA Championship but only
two Americans turned up – John Daly, who
received a special invitation (and later WD’d),
and little-known Anthony Kang from Phoenix,
Ariz., who is plying his trade on the European
Tour. Only three of the top 10 players in the
world rankings were absent and it did not go
unnoticed that they were all Americans – Phil
Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar.
Lee Westwood had to duck mud pies from
many players and American reporters for snubbing The Players Championship. Time for a
“It would be nice to see a few of the younger
Americans come over and support the event,”
Westwood said. “It’s disappointing. It’s a big
event with a strong field, and a lot of money
and ranking points. The only thing missing is a
few Americans. It’s 15 minutes from Heathrow
airport, if you don’t like a long drive.”
Double standards, then, as the Americans
snub Europe’s PGA Championship?
“You make of that what you will,” Westwood
said. “But I do see it as ‘us versus them.’ And
we are almost as guilty as they are of being too
guarded about our own Tour. All the tours and
federations should be pulling together for the
good of golf.”
Arnold Palmer won the tournament in 1975
when it was played at Royal St Georges. But
since the championship moved to Wentworth in
the early 1980s, American players have barely
given it a thought. Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and
Gary Player have all said that to be considered
a truly great champion, players have to travel
and win all around the world. That great trium-
virate did just that.
Lee Westwood was a bit disappointed at the lack of
American talent at this year’s BMW PGA Championship.
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