London: World number one Lee Westwood has criticised the US PGA Tour for voting American Rickie Fowler as rookie of the year ahead of Britain’s Rory McIlroy.
“Sorry 140 letters is not going to be enough for this rant,” Westwood said on his Twitter account on Monday. “Just seen Rickie Fowler has been given rookie of the year.
“Yes he’s had a good year but Rory McIlroy was third in two majors and (produced) an absolute demolition of the field at Quail Hollow...oh yes and he was on the winning Ryder Cup team.”
Westwood was referring to the 21-year-old Northern Irishman’s third-place finishes at the British Open and U.S. PGA Championship and his four-stroke victory over a top-class field at the Quail Hollow Championship in North Carolina in May.
“Is this another case of protectionism by the PGA Tour or are they so desperate to win something?,” added the 37-year-old Briton after he romped to an eight-shot victory at the Sun City Challenge in South Africa on Sunday.
“Wouldn’t have something to do with Rory not joining the tour next year? Maybe the PGA Tour just employs the same voting process as FIFA,” said Westwood, referring to the controversial choices of Russia and Qatar as World Cup soccer hosts in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
Westwood, McIlroy and Germany’s Martin Kaymer, all members of the triumphant Ryder Cup team against United States in October, have declined to take up PGA Tour membership in 2011.
Fowler, who featured in the losing U.S. team at Celtic Manor in Wales two months ago, failed to win on the PGA Tour this year but was a runner-up at the Phoenix Open and at the Memorial Tournament.
The 21-year-old also finished in the top 10 seven times.