Westwood fumes as McIlroy is overlooked in ‘Rookie poll’
WORLD No 1 Lee Westwood has ripped into the PGA Tour, accusing the US body of “protectionism” after his Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy was snubbed in the annual “Rookie of the Year” poll.
Instead, the award went to gifted American Rickie Fowler, leading Westwood to draw furious comparisons between “the voting practices” of the PGA Tour and those of world football federation Fifa.
Westwood raged in a Twitter mes- sage: “Sorry, 140 letters are not going to be enough for this rant!”
“Just seen Ricky Fowler has been given Rookie of the Year! Yes, Ricky’s had a good year but Rory McIlroy was third in two Majors and demolished the field at Quail Hollow!
“Oh yes and he was on the winning Ryder cup team! Please! Is this yet another case of protectionism by the PGA Tour or are they so desperate to win something! Wouldn’t have something to do with Rory not joining the tour next year?
“Maybe the PGA Tour just employs the same voting process as FIFA,” added Westwood, plainly still fuming over the world governing body of football’s decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia ahead of England.
The PGA Tour do not reveal the voting or margin of victory, which does little for their credibility.
Though six months younger than Fowler, who tur ned pro after last year’s Walker Cup, McIlroy said he did not regard himself as a rookie after more than three years on the European Tour.
Yet one of America’s hottest players, Dustin Johnson, said he regarded McIlroy as favourite for the award, though he didn’t vote. “He (Fowler) is going to get votes because he’s had a decent year.”
But McIlroy is going to win. He’s got to win,” he said. Told of the result, Johnson added: “Rickie won? Maybe (it’s because) he’s an American. I don’t know why.” Enough said.
McIlroy rounded off his 2010 season last Sunday with a final-round 68, which left him in fourth place on 11under at The Chevron World Challenge, five outside of the play-off which was won by fellow Ulsterman Graeme McDowell.
World No 11 McIlroy now faces a sixweek break, which should give him ample opportunity to do some muchneeded work on his short game and putting. – Belfast Telegraph