The PGA Tour logo is shown during a press conference in Tokyo on Nov 20, 2018. (KOJI SASAHARA / FILE / AP)
Sweeping changes that the PGA Tour announced this week are "a copy" of the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf series, former world number one Lee Westwood said.
The PGA Tour's changes require top golfers, assuming they qualify, to play at least a 20-event schedule consisting of the four majors, The Players Championship, 12 "elevated events" with average purses of $20 million and at least three other PGA Tour events of the player's choosing
On Wednesday, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced the tour's top golfers had committed to competing against each other more regularly.
The changes require top golfers, assuming they qualify, to play at least a 20-event schedule consisting of the four majors, The Players Championship, 12 "elevated events" with average purses of $20 million and at least three other PGA Tour events of the player's choosing.
Monahan said the changes were inspired by the PGA Tour members and singled out those who held a players-only meeting last week to discuss a number of proposals in the face of the LIV Golf threat.
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"I laugh at what the PGA Tour players have come up with," Westwood, who was suspended from the PGA Tour after playing in LIV's inaugural event in London, told Golf Digest on Thursday.
"It's just a copy of what LIV is doing. There are a lot of hypocrites out there. They all say LIV is 'not competitive'. They all point at the no-cut aspect of LIV and the short fields.
Lee Westwood hits off the 16th tee during the final round of the Bedminster Invitational LIV Golf tournament in Bedminster, New Jersey on July 31, 2022. (SETH WENIG / AP)
Now, funnily enough, they (the PGA Tour) are proposing 20 events that look a lot like LIV... And hopefully, they will be held to account as we were in the early days.
Lee Westwood, former world number one golfer
"Now, funnily enough, they are proposing 20 events that look a lot like LIV... And hopefully, they will be held to account as we were in the early days."
The PGA Tour and Europe's DP World Tour have put up a united front in their stand against LIV and in June announced a strengthening of their alliance to combat the threat.
However, Westwood, who has 25 European Tour wins, added he was not convinced by the strategic alliance, saying the PGA Tour's prize purses had lured golfers away from Europe in the past.
"All the PGA Tour has done since Tiger (Woods) came on tour is up the prize purses," Westwood said. "In turn, that has taken all the best players from Europe away from the European Tour.
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"They've had to play in the States, taking all their world ranking points with them."
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