PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Lee Westwood was one of a handful of players who lingered last week to celebrate Rory McIlory’s victory at the Quail Hollow Championship, paying his much younger stablemate the ultimate compliment.
“Lee joked with me he was going to leave on the plane but he didn’t,” said Chubby Chandler, the manager for both Westwood and McIlory. “That showed a lot of respect. There’s also a healthy rivalry between Lee and Rory.”
On Friday at TPC Sawgrass Westwood took a leg up in the rivalry, shooting 65 to grab a one-stroke lead while McIlroy was bound for a missed cut after a second-round 72.
In an unrelated item Westwood also shored up a portion of his summer schedule recently. It was reported that officials at the St. Jude Classic, sponsored for years by local giant FedEx, had denied Westwood’s request for a sponsor exemption because of his affiliation with sponsor UPS.
On Friday Chandler said St. Jude officials called him back and offered him a spot, which means the Englishman will keep a similar schedule to the one he used before the year’s first major.
“Like Augusta, he’ll go to Pebble Beach (site of next month’s U.S. Open) early, play two days, get to Memphis on Tuesday and play the week before,” Chandler said.