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December 19, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Lee Westwood says tour pros are overpaid

Fresh off becoming the career money-earner on the European Tour, Lee Westwood revealed to James Corrigan of The Independent that money is not what motivates him to win. In fact, Westwood believes that there is too much money being thrown at the players.

"When you first come out on tour, you play for the money because you need a certain amount to keep your card," he said. "But gradually as you win more, get exemptions and things like that, you get more confidence in your ability and you turn up to tournaments with the mindset of trying to win the trophy ... you know the money's just going to come along with it."

"We play for a staggering amount of money, no doubt about it and I've always stressed we are very very fortunate. 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."

Rather than winning money titles, Westwood is more focused on grabbing his first major. But what drives him even more than winning majors is providing for his family.

"Careers are defined by major championships. I get constantly asked about it so they must. And I'd love to win a major; it's the reason why I keep practicing and driving myself on. But the security of my family, my kids means more to me than that. I wouldn't sacrifice all I had for a major, no.”

While Westwood would love to claim his first major, he doesn’t feel that he deserves some of the flack he receives for the hole in his resume.

"I'm sometimes amazed when I get criticized. I look back at my career and I think I'm an over-achiever. I've always worked fairly hard. I've won 36 tournaments in five continents."

Rory McIlroy says he 'choked' at Masters

Rory McIlroy’s collapse at the Masters has been well documented, but the Irishman is letting on to the emotions he felt after losing out on the green jacket, opening up to Karl MacGinty of the Belfast Telegraph. According to McIlroy, he did choke at Augusta National. 

"I hate using the word 'choke', but that's exactly what happened," he concedes.

While clearly emotional out on the course during the back nine of his final round, McIlroy reveals that he didn’t actually shed any tears until he spoke to his parents the following day.

"It all just came pouring out," he recalls. "I hadn't spoken to my mum and dad until then. It might have been something they said -- you know, 'it'll be okay' or something like that.

"I remember thinking, 'no, it won't be okay'. At the time I felt I'd blown my only chance of winning the Masters; so many thoughts and feelings were going through my head."

Don’t expect McIlroy to be dwelling on his meltdown at the Masters when he returns to Augusta in 2012, though.

"What happened at Augusta won't happen again. There's no demons waiting for me there, just extra motivation to perform well and, maybe even a little redemption."

"It's not worth crying over, it's only a game."

John Daly performs 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door' in Thailand (and writes new verse)

While John Daly may be living in his own fantasy world when it comes to his suspension by the Australian PGA, he did take the time to memorize a couple chords and serenade guests at the Thailand Golf Championship, performing Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door," with a special golf verse:

Momma, I can't hit my wedge no more,

It's getting really hard to score,

I haven't made a cut in weeks,

My career looks so bleak.

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door.

 

Daly’s American flag-blazer has officially crept its way into my Christmas list this year.

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