Lee Westwood’s long-standing relationship with UPS is over.
The American shipping and parcel company’s logo was conspicuous by its absence from the former world No.1’s bag and shirt during the first round of the US PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
He had been displaying it during practice rounds.
In a statement provided to Sports Illustrated, UPS confirmed its 14-year association with the Englishman is over.
“We value the relationship we’ve had but make decisions based on what is best for our business,” said a spokeswoman. “We will continue to focus on sponsorship initiatives that are important for UPS and consistent with our business priorities.
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.”
Approached by Sports Illustrated, Westwood would only say that he feels “fortunate” to have been with “such a great company” for so long.
Many are already speculating that the decision to cut ties is as a result of Westwood’s links to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.
The 49-year-old is understood to have been one of the players who asked for – and was denied – a release to play in the new, Greg Norman-fronted golf circuit.
It is due to stage its first event at the Centurion Club near Hertfordshire in just three weeks’ time. As yet, however, no players have been confirmed.