West­wood fumes as McIlroy is over­looked in ‘Rookie poll’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

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

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