by Jeff Skinner
The PGA Tour received good news last week when Lee Westwood announced that he would once again join the U.S. PGA Tour and play the required minimum 15 tournaments. Westwood said he actually missed The Players Championship last year while he was catching it on television. He’ll start his PGA season at The Accenture Match Play in February and play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Westwood is currently third in the World Golf Rankings and he’ll be joining his countryman, World Number One Luke Donald and number three Rory McIlroy on the PGA Tour. All but one of the top ten in the world will be members of the PGA Tour as Martin Kaymer has declined to play on the tour again next season.
McIlroy recently split from agent Chubby Chandler, who still reps Westwood, citing his desire to be more active in the states. Westwood hasn’t voiced those feelings but he looks forward to playing for the FedEx Cup. “It’s a great event and one I’ve always enjoyed playing. It just felt right in Ryder Cup year to commit to a full program in the United States. The FedEx Cup looked pretty good on TV this year. I thought it would be great to give it a go, having never taken part.”
Translation: It was pretty cool watching Bill Haas walk off with a ten million dollar check. After all, it’s all about the benjamins and that’s not a bad thing. Westwood is an international golfer and he travels the world plying his trade and cashing checks, appearance fee and tournament, so this makes sense.
Show me a tournament that offers a multi-million dollar appearance fee and you’ll see Tiger, Westwood, Mickelson and the rest lined up hoping their name is on that check. There’s nothing wrong with those guys wanting to pad their bank accounts. And that’s the real reason Westwood and the rest want to give the PGA Tour a try. There is more cash to be made here than in Europe. Certainly any top golfer earns millions on and off the course and Westwood has many endorsement deals. But the sight of that $10,000,000 is too hard to resist.