Golf’s great divide continues to widen with LIV Golf star Lee Westwood and DP World Tour pro Eddie Pepperell engaging in a feisty war of words on Twitter over the weekend.
Westwood was among the first wave to join LIV Golf on a lucrative deal, but has remained an outspoken figure, regularly criticising both the PGA and DP World Tours.
Eventually, DP World Tour colleague Pepperell had enough.
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Pepperell took a shot at Westwood after the latter posted a sarcastic Tweet referring to the strategic alliance between the two traditional Tours.
In the replies came Pepperell, who wrote: “Hard to know what to make of you these days Lee.
“You’ve taken the money moving to LIV (which is fine), but surely keeping quiet would be a better, classier way to go about things at this point? Just a thought.”
Westwood appeared to be taken back by the response, replying: “I nearly missed this tweet Ed. Are you saying I’m not allowed to express my opinion on Twitter? I thought that was what social media was made for?”
Pepperell said that he was suggesting Westwood should “read the room” before speaking out again.
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He added: “You’ve done well out of this, and moving forward quietly might be best.
“We know you think (DP World Tour chief) Keith (Pelley) f***ed up and that the DP Tour is in the bin… but yeah, take your cake and enjoy it in the corner.”
Westwood then bizarrely claimed that he was trying to defend the DP World Tour, as well as the Australian Tour, despite having joined LIV Golf which has heavily impacted the former with the loss of a number of big-name stars.
“We’ll always disagree on this. I’ve watched the DPWT and Aus tour + others be bullied by the PGA tour for the last 25 years and don’t think we should roll over to them and you think we should be a feeder tour and lose all our best players to them. Thus becoming the 5th best tour,” Westwood replied.
Golf Digest senior writer Alex Myers then stepped in, calling out Westwood on what could be seen as a hypocritical stance.
“But didn’t you join a league bullying everyone with $2 billion to burn that’s going to make all the tours weaker and push the DP World Tour onto life support? How did that help the situation?” Myers wrote.
Westwood shot back: “Here comes yet another Golf Digest “senior writer”! You know this situation hasn’t just happened recently. Why don’t you do some proper investigative journalism?”
Westwood’s initial tweet came in response to changes on the PGA Tour that will make it harder for European players to remain members of both the US and European circuits.
From next year, PGA Tour players must feature in a minimum of 20 events between January and August to earn bonus money from the Player Impact Program (PIP).
DP World Tour players must also play in a minimum of four European events, that are not majors, to remain fully-fledged members and eligible for Ryder Cup selection.
That issue had Jon Rahm stumped after the Tour Championship when asked about how hard it would be to play 20 events on the US PGA Tour.
“I don’t think I could add any more,” he said after his 18th start since January.
“If we have to play all those 20, then yeah, a 100 per cent ([it would be a lot to ask of the Europeans). I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes because that puts me in a difficult position.
“If I go play in Europe in the fall like I’m going to, I have to play from January until August 20 times … So yeah, especially with Ryder Cup and having to play four in Europe, yeah, I think it’s a bit of an ask, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they revise a bit of a rule or make an exception for some players.
“But if they do it for players like me and Rory (McIlroy), they might have to do it for everybody.”