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Lee Westwood: Englishman refuses to discuss proposed Saudi super league after signing NDA

Lee Westwood: Englishman refuses to discuss proposed Saudi super league after signing NDA

Lee Westwood has refused to discuss a proposed Saudi Arabian-backed golf super league because he has signed a non-disclosure agreement.

The Englishman, 48, was asked for his thoughts on the format of the proposed league before playing this week's Saudi International event on the Asian Tour.

Westwood declined to comment and indicated that he had signed a legal document preventing him from doing so.

This suggests he has been approached to sign up to the super league concept.

On Tuesday, the Daily Telegraph reported that fellow Englishman Ian Poulter was weighing up an offer of up to £22m to join the Saudi-funded project.

Players who sign up face potential bans from the American-based PGA Tour and European-based DP World Tour, as well as the Ryder Cup.

In May 2021, Westwood said that an offer of around $50m to play the Saudi circuit would be "a no brainer".

On Wednesday, the former world number one was asked by a reporter at the Saudi International: "What do you think of the proposed format of the super league, the team aspect of it? It's a little bit different from the 72-hole strokeplay norm."

Westwood replied: "I don't know whether I want to answer questions on that. I've signed an NDA."

It is expected that any Saudi super league would involve a team format but Westwood would only speak in general terms on that subject.

"I think golf has got to move with the times and become more heat-of-the-moment, volatile and impactful right from the word go," he said.

"Certainly if you do it like the team aspect, there's more action happening in more different places."

This week's event at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City was previously staged on the European Tour but is now the flagship tournament of its Asian rival.

American stars Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson headline a field that also includes European Ryder Cup players such as Tyrrell Hatton, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Poulter and Westwood.

The Asian Tour is launching a $300m International Series promoted by Greg Norman's Liv Golf Investments company which will include, among 10 events, a tournament at the Centurion Club near St Albans in June.

Norman insists "this is just the beginning", with rumours sweeping the world game that Saudis plan to invest millions from their Public Investment Fund into a Formula 1-style golf super league.

The main tours in the United States and Europe have signalled their intent to fight the Saudi plans with threats of bans for golfers who sign up to the project.

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour grudgingly provided releases to the players competing in Saudi Arabia this week. PGA Tour members playing in the Middle East have been told they must commit to their Pebble Beach event next season, which takes place on the same weekend.

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