Lee Westwood takes aim at PGA Tour 'hypocrites' - 'Hopefully they all choke on their words'

Lee Westwood has fired a scathing broadside at the players behind the sweeping changes announced by the PGA Tour this week in response to the threat of LIV Golf.

According to the Englishman, who was among the first batch of players to defect to the Saudi-backed breakaway league, what the PGA Tour players are backing sounds very similar to the format LIV Golf has introduced - the same format many of them strongly criticised when commenting on LIV Golf in the past.

"I laugh at what the PGA Tour players have come up with," Westwood told Golf Digest. "It's just a copy of what LIV is doing. There are a lot of hypocrites out there. They all say LIV is not competitive. They all point at the no-cut aspect of LIV and the short fields."

The PGA Tour's top players have committed to playing against each other at least 20 times a year, while the bonus pool for the Player Impact Programme (PIP) has been doubled to $100million.

The 20 events are made up of the four majors, the Players Championship, 12 "elevated" tournaments on the PGA Tour - with an average purse of $20million - and three other events chosen by the players.

Players are also guaranteed minimum earnings of $500,000, which can be taken up front by rookies, while lower-ranked players will receive a travel stipend of $5,000 for each missed cut.

However, most of the tournaments will still be played over 72 holes, with 36-hole cuts.

"Now, funnily enough, they are proposing 20 events that look a lot like LIV," Westwood said.

"Hopefully, at some point they will all choke on their words. And hopefully, they will be held to account as we were in the early days."

Westwood also strongly criticised the so-called "strategic alliance" between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, which he reckons has always been a totally one-sided relationship.

Lee Westwood

"I'm not convinced by the strategic alliance because I've seen how the PGA Tour has behaved over the years," he said. "There's not much 'give.' They have always been bullies and now they are getting their comeuppance.

"All the PGA Tour has done since Tiger [Woods] came on tour is up the prize purses. In turn, that has taken all the best players from Europe away from the European Tour. They've had to play in the States, taking all their world ranking points with them.

"That was their strategy: 'Put up the money. Get all the players. Hog all the world ranking points.' Which becomes self-perpetuating. What we have seen over the last few months is just LIV doing what the PGA Tour has done for the last 25 years."

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