It seems that the Volvo World Matchplay Golf Championship, scheduled to take place next month in Spain, will now be without the three best golfers in the world, according to the OWGR world league table.
Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald had already confirmed that they weren’t making the trip to the Volvo event in Finca Cortesin, which carries a first prize of £700,000, in a similar fashion to when they turned down the Bayhill Arnold Palmer Invitational shortly before The Masters. Now Westwood has confirmed that he won’t be making the trip, either.
Looking at how Donald and McIlroy performed at Augusta, you’d maybe question their decision to pull out of another ranking tournament so soon before a Major, but it seems that the two are cutting down on the travelling before June’s US Open where Rory truly burst onto the golfing scene last year.
Westwood to miss chance of defending two golf titles in successive weekends
Neither will the 39-yr old Englishman be defending his Ballantine’s title this weekend; however, that is perhaps an easier one to get your head around. It seems that the final day of the Indonesian Masters last weekend, which comprised an energy-sapping 32 holes for Lee Westwood, has put paid to such another long haul to the Far East, this time Korea, to defend his second title in as many weeks. It’s a shame – that would have been a noteworthy achievement for any golfer in anyone’s books.
Westwood, like (current) world number one Rory McIlroy, is not only affiliated with the European Tour this season but also the PGA Tour. Considering the distance the former covers and then having to fly across to the US every three weeks or so, it’s no wonder the prizes are so grand and the players get zapped so readily. But it seems that even the lure of almost three quarters of a million for first prize, or even just £60,000 if you don’t make the cut, is not enough to tempt Westwood, McIlroy and Donald to Spain next month. McIlroy has also turned down the invite to the Nordea Masters; again, as that is only a week before he starts the defence of his US Open title it’s perhaps understandable and, like Westwood, will ant to get acclimatised in America and play some golf over there before the Major starts.
Westwood looks like staying Stateside only before the US Open in June as he has confirmed he’ll be playing at both the Wells Fargo and the Players Championships across The Pond before the second Major of the golf season sees the golf pros hit San Francisco.
So, yes, it does seem like the golfers may be trying to be cute by picking and choosing their events from the outside, but when you look into the travelling, time away from home and £60k just for turning up…
…no, I’m not even convincing myself, am I?