Lee Westwood was all prepared to fly to Australia next week for the World Cup of Golf. However, his partner Danny Willett had to withdraw because of a back injury, and things became complicated.
The 2016 US Masters champion’s place then went to Chris Wood, who had the right to choose his own partner. He opted for Andy Sullivan rather than Westwood, and the latter wasn’t happy. Speaking to UK daily the Sun in Dubai, where he is competing in the European Tour season finale, the DP World Tour Championship, Westwood said, "I'm not pointing fingers but you would have thought that when a guy has made detailed plans – and sorted out travel and everything else – he should still be in the team, even when someone else has to pull out.
"I haven't spoken to Woody yet, but frustrated would be one word you could use to describe how I feel about it. It's not great when it all happens at the last minute, especially as I'd geared all my end of season plans around playing the World Cup."
Twenty-eight-year-old Wood, meanwhile, said he believed that he and Sullivan (30) were from a "different generation" than Westwood (43) and that his pairing with Sullivan gave him the best chance of winning the team event.
"It's a bit of an awkward position to find yourself in to be honest. Danny made no bones about the fact he was picking his mate, and it probably looks like I've done the same thing. I can understand Lee's frustration after being named in the team, only to be left high and dry when Danny pulled out. Maybe the rules need looking at in those circumstances. But I couldn't let it affect my decision."
In the first round in Dubai, Westwood led the tournament with an opening 66 while both Wood and Sullivan languished down the field following a 75 and 76, respectively.