BOZICH | Lee Westwood gets revenge against 'shameful' Valhalla
Lee Westwood wasn't happy with the treatment he received during the Ryder Cup at Valhalla in 2008. He created his own storyline during the first round of the PGA Championship.
Thursday, August 7th 2014, 1:24 pm EDT by
Thursday, August 7th 2014, 1:47 pm EDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Lee Westwood did not leave town with warm and cuddly feelings about Louisville and Valhalla the last time he was in town.
Westwood played for the European team that lost the 2008 Ryder Cup to the U.S. – and he did not appreciate the treatment he received from the crowd or at his hotel.
Westwood said local patrons did not display proper sportsmanship. He said somebody called his room with a good luck telephone call at 12:30 a.m. before one of his rounds.
He said he had been verbally abused "from start to finish." He said somebody in the gallery made a nasty reference about his mother.
The only abuse that occurred Thursday was Westwood's abuse of the course.
Early in the afternoon, Westwood shot to the top of the leaderboard with a six-under 65 in the 96th PGA Championship. It's the lowest first round during three the PGAs that have been played at Valhalla.
Westwood, 41, is trying to win his first major championship, although the English native has won two PGA Tour events as well as 23 events on the European Tour.
Westwood posted nine birdies – five on front nine. He only struggled on two holes, making a double-bogey on the first hole and a bogey on 15.
That's quite a contrast Westwood's experience six years ago when Westwood was agitated by comments made by U.S. team captain Paul Azinger.
“For the most part the crowds were great,” Westwood said. "But what was going on was pretty shameful. I expected the spectators to get behind the Americans, which they did, but there was too much clapping and cheering at the wrong times.
"They were incited to do that. It is down to the captain, you have to say. Golf is meant to be about me and my clubs against the next guy and his clubs. Other than wind and rain, no outside agency should get involved.”
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