Lee Westwood wins AGW Golfer of Year Award for record fourth time

Lee Westwood has been voted the Association of Golf Writers (AGW) Golfer of the Year for a record fourth time.

Lee Westwood poses with the Race to Dubai trophy after the final round of last month's DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Lee Westwood poses with the Race to Dubai trophy after the final round of last month's DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

The Englishman polled 53% of the votes of Association members to secure the 2020 title from AIG Women’s Open winner, Germany’s Sophia Popov, who was next best with 20% of the votes.

The AGW Golf Writers' Trophy, which was initially awarded in 1951, recognises the team, person or persons, resident or born in Europe, who, in the opinion of the majority of Association members, made the most outstanding contribution to golf during the preceding 12 months.

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Westwood was first presented with the award in 1998 and then two years later in 2000. He won the prize for a third occasion in 1999, a year he won four times around the globe.

Now, after capturing the European Tour No 1 crown for a third occasion, the 47-year-old is the first player to be honoured four times.

“I’m again honoured to be voted AGW Golfer of the Year and also to win the award now for a fourth time,” said Westwood. “It’s always a special award because it is voted by the press who are out there reporting on the various tournaments.

"We all know 2020 was a very different year, but they are the ones who normally keep a close eye on what has been going on in the golf world, so I feel very fortunate and honoured to have won.”

Westwood, who turned professional in 1993, added: “I’ve always felt throughout my career that I’ve had a good relationship with members of the AGW and the media in general.

“We’re all out here trying to do a job and, while there are sometimes you don’t want to speak, it is part of the job and I have always tried to make myself available whenever I can. You may not always get a decent answer but at least you get an answer (laughing).”

AGW Chairman Martin Dempster said: “2020 may have been different, but it still provided lots of memorable moments in golf, including a fairytale victory for Sophia Popov in the AIG Women’s Open.

“That was reflected in her securing 20% of the vote from our members, with Jon Rahm (13%) also being recognised for another strong season.

“I was also delighted to see Justin Rose and his wife, Kate, receiving 7% of the vote in recognition of their efforts in launching the inaugural Rose Ladies Series to provide playing opportunities for UK-based players last summer.

“However, I feel that Lee Westwood is a deserved winner of the 2020 AGW Golfer of the Year Award and not just on the strength of his latest European Tour Race to Dubai title, brilliant as though that achievement may have been.

“Lee led by example after the European Tour came out of the first Covid-19 lockdown, admitting he found the environment at events totally different to what he had been used to during his glittering career but getting on with it in a professional manner.

“As well as hosting the Betfred British Masters at Close House, he supported other events on a new UK Swing and, both on and off the golf course, showed why so many of his peers regard him as ‘the definition of the European Tour’.”

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