LIV Golf’s Lee Westwood calls for golf’s war to end ahead of U.S. Senior Open debut

Englishman Lee Westwood is fed up with the current schism surrounding professional golf, as the PGA Tour tries to strike a deal with LIV Golf’s beneficiary, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Westwood wants the best players to play side-by-side in every tournament, not just in the majors.

“No matter what the level of golf is, I think if the best players at every level don’t come together and play, there’s only one loser, and that’s the fans watching,” Westwood said Tuesday ahead of his U.S. Senior Open debut.

“We need to somehow figure a way to get the best players playing against each other more often.”

One consequence of the PGA Tour-LIV Golf divide is that the four majors have become even more prominent. Unlike regular tour events, LIV Golf players can tee it up at The Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, and The Open Championship. That means fans get to see the top players compete side-by-side only four times per year.

LIV has also seen success in recent majors, as four of the last eight major champions currently play on the Saudi-backed circuit. Look no further than Bryson DeChambeau, who won the most recent major at Pinehurst No. 2.

“When you look at the U.S. Open two weeks ago or the Masters or the PGA Championship, people are happy to see Bryson [DeChambeau] or Cam [Smith] or Jon Rahm coming and playing in those big events,” Westwood said.

Lee Westwood, LIV Golf

Lee Westwood at LIV Golf Nashville.
Photo by Bryan Lynn/Getty Images

“It’s basically getting all the best players together in one tournament to compete against each other, and that’s what you want at the highest level. You want all the best players there.”

This week’s Senior U.S. Open features two LIV Golf players: Richard Bland, who won last month’s Senior PGA Championship, and Westwood.

Westwood earned a place in this week’s U.S. Senior Open because he has played on a recent Ryder Cup team. He represented Team Europe at Whistling Straits in 2021, earning a single point. The Americans trounced the Europeans that year, 19-to-9.

Less than one year later, Westwood joined LIV Golf, where he has not had much success. Yet, Westwood will tee it up with plenty of confidence at Newport Country Club this week, thanks to his recent performance at LIV Golf Nashville, where he tied for third—the best result of his LIV Golf career.

“I started to swing well, and my whole game was coming together when I played at LIV Houston three weeks ago. Then I went home and did a little bit of work on it. I probably haven’t been working as hard on my game as I would have liked to, but I put in a bit more work in the week off,” Westwood explained.

“Putted well last week. I sharpened my short game up because I’ve been playing more, and my game is in a really good place. Played well on the final day, which was good. I haven’t been finishing tournaments off, so having fun for the last four holes, and finishing that tournament off strongly has given me a lot of confidence going into this week.”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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