Westwood denies possible rift with McIlroy


Lee Westwood denied the existence of a rift between him and former stablemate Rory McIlroy, and the Englishman even suggested that the duo could be paired at next week’s Ryder Cup.

Westwood, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, said, “We were talking about it as we were going around Crooked Stick,” referring to Westwood and McIlroy’s final-round pairing at the BMW Championship on Sept. 9. “I said to him, ‘Have you had any thoughts about who you are playing with at Medinah? Because if nobody else wants to play with you and you’re desperate, I really don’t mind filling in.’ We had a laugh about that.”

It was widely believed that McIlroy would be paired with fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell at Medinah; they teamed to go 1-1-1 in the team format in 2010.

There has been plenty of media speculation about potential friction between Westwood and McIlroy, after the 23-year-old left the International Sports Agency in 2011. After that move, Westwood wrote “bizarre decision” to McIlroy on Twitter, and McIlroy responded by unfollowing him on the social-media site.

“There is nothing there,” Westwood said, according to the report. “Fans must watch us having banter on the course thinking, So where is this grudge? So he left the management company I’m with. So what? It was a business decision. There is nothing personal with me.”