US Open wicker baskets lead to funny tweets from Lee Westwood

Wicker-basket-MerionLee Westwood shot an opening-round 70 at the US Open on Thursday to put himself in the hunt heading into round two on Friday. Had it not been for the unique design of Merion Golf Club, it might have been even better.

Westwood’s approach shot on the 12th hole on Thursday was right at the pin, but it hit the infamous wicker basket at the top of the pole and rolled all the way off the front of the green and onto the fairway. He would have been putting, but Westwood had chip back onto the green and wound up making a double-bogey. Later that night, he took to Twitter to express some of his frustrations.

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Lee Westwood hits ball inside spectator’s sweater (Picture)

Last weekend Phil Mickelson hit a drive that somehow landed inside a fan’s shorts. During match play against Rory McIlroy Sunday, Lee Westwood did something similar. His drive on the 13th hole somehow landed inside a woman’s sweater. You can see where the ball landed above the woman’s backpack in the picture above.

Westwood’s caddie had quite the line about the incident, telling the fan “Would you mind walking 250 yards further?”

With shots off the mark like that, it’s no surprise Westwood lost to McIlroy in the semis.

Picture Credit: Doug Ferguson

Lee Westwood Says the Top Professional Golfers Are Overpaid

People crying and stamping their feet about professional athletes being paid too much money is nothing new.  We hear it constantly, usually in regard to baseball players in this country.  While it may or may not be true depending on your viewpoint, what we don’t usually hear is the professionals themselves saying it.  Lee Westwood, who is currently the earnings leader on the European Tour, gave us a rare moment during an interview with The Independent on Sunday.

“We play for a staggering amount of money, no doubt about it and I’ve always stressed we are very very fortunate,” Westwood said. “I think we are paid too much money – compared to police and teachers and nurses. But then compare it to footballers. I think the only thing you can probably justify it by is that when golfers have a bad day, we don’t get paid anything, but when we have a great day we get paid a lot. It’s part of the pressure involved. There isn’t a wage as such.”

Westwood makes a great point about a golfer’s earnings being performance-based.  Personally, I am never one to complain that professional athletes make too much money.  The money has to come from somewhere, so a baseball player getting $20 million a season is the result of a free market economy and basic supply and demand.  The Red Sox and Yankees can afford more because they have a bigger following and sell out 81 home games per year.

However, the major issue with a sport like baseball is guaranteed contracts.  Golfers like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are still showered with endorsements, but they have to continue to win to keep making money.  Someone like Albert Pujols signs a contract worth $245 million and will be paid every penny of it regardless of his performance over the next 10 years.  Whether you think professional golfers are overpaid or not, it’s certainly an interesting change of pace to hear it coming from a professional golfer’s mouth.

Golf clap to Devil Ball Golf for passing the story along.

Golfer Lee Westwood May Close Twitter Account Because of Fan Abuse

In honor of “Twitter Issues Surrounding Englishmen Day”, I bring attention to Lee Westwood’s consideration to close his social media account. Apparently, the PGA Golfer doesn’t appreciate the written abuse from “idiots” on Twitter.

”It’s social media, not social slagging. It seems to have turned into that for some people,” Lee Westwood said. Westwood, and his Ryder Cup teammates who also tweet, have been upset with the negative thoughts fans have expressed towards the golfers.

Northern Ireland golfer Graeme McDowell believes some of the criticism from followers is evil. ”People open an account and all they want to do is abuse celebrities and sportsmen to try to get a response,” McDowell said. ”You try not to encourage them, and generally I just block them, but if you want to stay on it you’re going to have to accept some absolute trash that people talk.”

If Westwood does decide to close his account, it would mark the second time in less than a month we’ve seen an athlete succumb to the public abuse. There are many sports fans who envy the money and fame that professional athletes receive. The jealousy just leads to written, and sometimes verbal, abuse from supporters towards athletes in spite of their success. We don’t condone abuse by fans of players, however, it’s hard to have sympathy for these professional golfers who are complaining.

Cry me a freaking river, just ignore the haters, it’s not that hard. As a golfer, if you’d liked to give us insight on your daily grind, continue to tweet and wear a thick skin. You can’t let little things like these bother you as a professional. Besides, for every one jackass, there are ten people who truly care and appreciate what you have to share.