Lee Westwood gearing up for LIV London

Lee Westwood believes LIV Golf is his sport’s equivalent of T20 cricket – but it’s the Ashes he has his eyes on rivalling for the nation’s attention this summer.

The 50-year-old was among the first players to sign up for the breakaway Tour last year and featured at its opening event at the Centurion Club in St Albans.

In the 12 months since, Westwood has been joined by a growing list of notable names who continue to make their mark at majors, with Brooks Koepka backing up his near miss at the master’s by claiming May’s PGA Championship.

Koepka will bid for more major success at the Open and is set to tune up at LIV London, an event Westwood hopes will make its mark in a packed sporting schedule.

“The strides they have made, and the amount LIV Golf has come on inside a year, are incredible,” he said.

“A new Tour has taken off and it’s what everyone is talking about. It has created a stir and everyone is getting the idea of it now.

“It’s very different from the 72-hole events, your run-of-the-mill tournaments. It’s kind of like T20 cricket, where you also have the five-day Tests for the purist.

“In Britain, we have all those summer sporting events around that time – Royal Ascot, the Ashes, Formula One down the road [at Silverstone].

“We must make a big impact as there are a lot of sports vying for that time. We are entertainers and we’ll be trying to play as much good golf as possible to put out a good product.”

Westwood is a 25-time winner on the DP World Tour but is yet to taste success on the LIV circuit and sits 46th in the individual standings.

However, the Worksop ace insists he has no regrets about joining the new tour.

“For me, it’s great at this stage of my career,” he said.

“I’m 50 and I’ve been playing for 30 years on the European Tour, the PGA Tour and around the world.

“This was a new challenge. It ticks a lot of boxes where golf struggles. The things that let golf down – the pace of play, stiff rules – it breaks down all those boundaries. It has been a breath of fresh air.”

Westwood’s ‘Majesticks’ team will not be lacking for home support in Hertfordshire, with his compatriots Ian Poulter and Sam Horsfield also part of the line-up along with 2016 Open winner Henrik Stenson.

“It’s always nice to go home and play in front of your own fans,” he added.

“For an English player, there is nothing like playing in England and Britain and I am looking forward to feeding off their energy.

“We are much more relaxed, we will be interacting with the crowds, and it’s a much more personal experience.”

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