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Lee Westwood defends desire to play in LIV Golf International Series

Westwood defends desire to play in Saudi-backed series
© Reuters
Lee Westwood claims that the decision of himself and other players to request participation in the LIV Golf International Series has 'come under too much scrutiny'.

Lee Westwood feels that any player wishing to feature in the LIV Golf International Series is 'coming under too much scrutiny'.

In recent weeks, players have been required to formally put in a request to the PGA or DP World Tour if they wish to participate in the first of the Saudi Arabia-backed tournaments in Hertfordshire next month.

While many of the world's top players have distanced themselves from the competition, Westwood, Phil Mickelson and a select number of other high-profile names want the opportunity to play at the Centurion Club between June 9 and June 11.

Ahead of this week's British Masters, Westwood has spoken openly about the situation, querying why so much criticism has been received when it will not be the first tournament or sport to have links to Saudi Arabia.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Westwood said: "We've played European Tour in Saudi Arabia and I've had releases from the PGA Tour to say I can play in Saudi Arabia, so it has been no problem to them in previous years.

"Formula One raced there. Newcastle United are owned partly by people from Saudi Arabia. There has been boxing there and I think there has been snooker and darts there as well.

"Golf's not the first sport to have links with Saudi Arabia, but it seems to be coming under more scrutiny than anyone else. Whether you think that's right or not is the individual's opinion."

Any European or American player who features in the LIV Golf International Series are at risk of not being able to participate in future Ryder Cups or captain their respective teams.

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