Oh, Westy. The lot of the last golfer of any standing still standing at the Turkish Airlines Open, as it were, Lee Westwood’s charged with presenting the situation in Antalya as entirely copacetic.
Players haven’t come to the @T_A_Golf this week because they have fears. I have a fear. I fear Im going to eat too much ice cream this week
— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) October 31, 2016
Earn that appearance fee, Lee! But really, despite the July failed military coup and last week’s rocket attacks in Kremer (about an hour from Antalya), the European Tour did its due diligence and didn’t find any need to cancel the tournament.
Still, precious snowflake, Rory McIlroy, who pussed out on the Olympics due to smokescreen Zika fears, didn’t feel safe enough to tee it up at the luxurious oceanside Regnum Carya Spa. He told reporters the matter of to play or not to play “was weighing on my mind and I slept a lot better knowing that I’d made a decision.”
*Clutches pearls* Thank heavens for that!
Well behind Danny Willett in the Race to Dubai, and flush from his FedEx Cup payday, McIlroy was already in position to pass on playing in Turkey. Much like Olympic concerns over menacing mosquitoes, the security situation in the region is mere self-interested subterfuge, giving him the opportunity to back out of a commitment to something that no longer fit in Rory McIlroy, Inc.’s interests.
Likewise, Patrick Reed, who engaged in similar coitus interruptus with the TAO. Reed, who had a pair of miserable showings at the CIMB Classic and WGC-HSBC Champions, was probably keen to step into his cowboy boots for a private jet flight back to wife and child in Texas.
Expect no shortage of “No rockets, ma!” Periscope sessions, Instagram posts, and Tweets from Westwood this week, as he’s been shoved to the fore of the big purse event while McIlroy looks into fallout shelter building plans.
Ah, the beautiful business of big bucks sport.