Jay Townsend - November 29, 2011


Lee Westwood announced his return to the 2012 PGA TOUR last week and Jay does not think you can blame him for wanting to be a part of the big-money PGA TOUR Playoffs. Looking back on some of his comments about THE PLAYERS and the PGA TOUR, the decision may be a bit surprising but overall he can see why Lee made this decision.

He does not think McIlroy’s return is a surprise because he tends to flip-flop on a lot of things. For a long time, Rory said how unhappy he was in the U.S. and how happy he was with his support team in Europe. For the European Tour, McIlroy is the bigger loss although he is still a member of the European Tour through dual membership.

He is not a big believer in giving events like the World Cup and the Chevron World Challenge world ranking points and when it comes to the changes to the World Cup, he would like to see the event be a four-ball only event rather than a four-ball and foursomes event or a stroke play event.

Four years from 2016 in Rio, players on the European Tour tend to be politically correct in public about it but in private, no one is talking about it. The players right now are too focused on their own games. Colin Montgomerie in Afghanistan and course designers are the only people who care about the 2016 Olympics right now.

Despite everything that has happened among European players in relation to taking and not taking PGA TOUR membership, he does not see dissension and disagreement in the European team room during the 2012 Ryder Cup because the players have a single minded focus to win and that focus is greater than the United States. The European team room was not helped by Nick Faldo in 2008 and Faldo’s own personality played a big role in that. Jose Maria Olazabal is someone that is almost universally liked among the European players so when you combine the presence of Olazabal with the single-minded desire to win, division is not something that he worries about when it comes to the Europeans.