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UPS has ended its sponsorship of Lee Westwood in an apparent response to the former world number one’s involvement with a series of Saudi-backed tournaments.
Westwood is among the players to have requested releases from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to contest the first LIV Golf Invitational next month, which has a prize fund of £20.2million and winner’s cheque of £3.2million.
Those requests have been turned down and the situation looks set to end in legal action, with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman pledging to “defend, reimburse and represent” any players who are sanctioned for competing at Centurion Club without permission.
Westwood, who was pictured without the UPS logo on his shirt during a first round of 75 in the US PGA Championship, told Morning Read/SI.com: “I feel fortunate to have been with UPS for 14 years. Such a great company.”
Lee Westwood has made his long-assumed interest in the LIV Golf league official. 👀
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) May 4, 2022
In a statement, UPS president of international communications Kara Ross said: “We value the relationship we’ve had but make decisions based on what is best for our business.
“We will continue to focus on sponsorship initiatives that are important for UPS and consistent with our business priorities.
“The decision to end our partnership is a strategic business decision that allows us to focus on other initiatives.
“We maintain alternative sponsorships across other sports as well as cultural, philanthropic and sustainability-led initiatives to support our brand and meet the needs of our business.”