Westwood Laments Lack of Events in England

Lee Westwood is unhappy with the dearth of tournaments in England on the upcoming European Tour schedule. The 2011 calendar lists just two events in the home country of the newly crowned No. 1-ranked golfer in the world.

"I can't get my head around it," the 37-year-old from Nottinghamshire said. "English golf has never been so strong, we have 10 world-class Englishmen and we should all be getting together and playing an English Open or a European Open in England, even if the European Tour has to fund it.

Westwood feels that the current high rankings of fellow Brits warrant more events. That group includes Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher and Justin Rose.

"If the Tour wants me to be an ambassador for an English Open then I am quite happy to do that."

The 2011 events include BMW PGA Championship in late May at the Wentworth Club in Surrey and the Open Championship in July at Royal St. George's Golf Club in Kent.

Though it remains to be seen whether his voice will be heard by European Tour officials, Westwood is getting national recognition. Earlier in the week he received the BBC East Midlands Sports Award.

The nation's most popular golfer earned the accolade over such intense competition from English cricketer Graeme Swann and boxer Carl Froch.

"It means a lot," Westwood said. "It's obviously the place where I live and it's nice to be voted for in the East Midlands. It's lovely to be presented it by [Peter] who I have admired for a long time. He's saved Forest many a game."

Westwood was also one of the 10 athletes nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. Reigning U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell was also on the list, but jockey AP McCoy was named the winner.