Euro Tour honors Westwood for lifetime contributions

Lee Westwood receives his Honorary Life Membership Card from Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady.

European Tour Lifetime Members

Peter Alliss: 2003

Seve Ballesteros: 1983

Peter Butler: 1982

Angel Cabrera: 2007

Michael Campbell: 2005

Bob Charles: 1995

Neil Coles: 2004

Sir Henry Cotton: 1985

Fred Daly: 1985

Ernie Els: 1998

Sir Nick Faldo: 1987

Max Faulkner: 1985

Bernard Gallacher: 2003

Retief Goosen: 2002

Padraig Harrington: 2007

Bernard Hunt: 1978

Trevor Immelman: 2008

Tony Jacklin: 1983

John Jacobs: 1978

Martin Kaymer: 2010

Bernhard Langer: 1985

Paul Lawrie: 1999

Sandy Lyle: 1985

Graeme McDowell: 2010

Colin Montgomerie: 1997

Greg Norman: 1999

Christy O’Connor: 2004

José Maria Olazábal: 1994

Louis Oosthuizen: 2010

Arnold Palmer: 1995

John Panton: 2004

Gary Player: 1995

Dai Rees: 1978

Vijay Singh: 2001

Tom Watson: 2010

Ian Woosnam: 1992

Lee Westwood: 2011

Lee Westwood has joined an elite group of golfers.

The European Tour awarded Westwood an honorary "lifetime membership" this week.

But don’t think that the designation means Westwood can tee it up at the Irish Open when he’s 80. The tour said the honor is recognition for his achievements and commitment to the tour; it doesn't extend any playing privileges.

Still, with only 37 lifetime European Tour members, such as Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam and Sir Henry Cotton, it’s a big deal.

The 37-year-old Englishman gained world No. 1 status Oct. 31, when he replaced Tiger Woods atop the Official World Golf Ranking. Westwood and Sir Nick Faldo are the only English golfers who have achieved that summit.

It’s a far cry from a decade ago, when Westwood was ranked in the 200s.

European Tour chief executive George O’Grady recommended to the tour’s tournament committee that it honor Westwood.

“We thought it was a very good idea and had no problem agreeing to it, considering everything Lee has done for European golf,” committee member Richard Finch told Golfweek.

Westwood has 20 wins and is third on the all-time money list (23,911,692 euros) on the Euro Tour since he joined in 1994. He makes his 388th start in Dubai this week.

Said O’Grady: “For the past 15 weeks, Lee has sat on top of the world, in a golfing sense, and the fact that only 12 other players have claimed the position of No. 1 over a 25-year period speaks volumes for the enormity of his achievement. He has done this through the quality of his golf and sheer force of personality and is undoubtedly one of our greatest champions.”

However, Martin Kaymer did beat Westwood to the list.

Of course, that’s what winning a major will do.

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