Lee Westwood signs NDA with Saudis over proposed Super League

Lee Westwood has revealed that he signed an NDA over the proposal for a Saudi Arabia-backed Super League, meaning that he has almost certainly been made an offer to play in it.

Lee Westwood in action during last week's Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club. Picture: Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images.
Lee Westwood in action during last week's Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club. Picture: Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images.

Westwood’s admission came hot on the heels of a report claiming that another high-profile English player, Ian Poulter, had been offered up to $30 million to join the breakaway league.

It is being speculated that Poulter would face a lifetime ban from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour should he accept the offer, with the same consequence likely to be facing Westwood.

Both players have been heavily tipped to become Ryder Cup captains, but the chances of that happening would surely be in major doubt if they signed up for the Super League.

The same applies to former Open champion Henrik Stenson, who is one of the leading contenders for the 2023 captaincy in Rome.

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Speaking ahead of his appearance in this week’s Saudi International, which is now on the Asian Tour, Westwood was asked for his thoughts on the team aspect of the proposed league.“I don't know whether I want to answer questions on that. I've signed an NDA,” said the three-time European No 1.

Pressed about the concept, he added: “Well, coming at it from my perspective, you can ask Helen (his wife), but when I'm at home I watch a lot of sport but not a lot of that sport is golf because it seems to me it's just 72-hole stroke play week in and week out, and when I'm playing it, I've had enough of it by then.

“I would turn on for the Ryder Cup if I wasn't in it. I would turn on for the Match Play. I think the first day at the Dell Match Play when you've got 32 matches going is one of the most exciting days viewing all year really.

“I used to love watching the World Match Play at Wentworth. I think team golf every now and again is a good thing. People seem to enjoy watching it.

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“I think the team aspect is exciting. It's a little bit more volatile than week in, week out 72-hole stroke play.

Yeah, I think people like to pick teams rather than individuals now and then. It's different, and I think golf does need (to be) different. I think it's pretty similar all over the world wherever you play, they just seem to stick to the 72 holes.

“I think golf has got to move with the times and become more heat-of-the-moment, volatile and impactful right from the word go. Certainly if you do it like the team aspect, there's more action happening in more different places, yeah.”

Dustin Johnson, who is bidding to win the Saudi International for a third time in four years, was asked about the report of Poulter’s offer.“I can't speak for Ian. Yeah, I'm sure they're …well, yeah, obviously whether they have or haven't, I'm not allowed to disclose. You'd have to ask Ian on that one.”

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Had he received a similar offer? “No, not similar. It's just not similar,” he added, laughing.

According to US PGA champion Phil Mickelson, “pretty much every player in the top 100 in the world has been contacted” by the people behind the Super League.

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