LEE WESTWOOD will reject Donald Trump’s offer of “free passage” into the USA, and continue playing on the European Tour in the UK.
Trump’s decision to lift the 14-day quarantine rule for overseas golfers entering the States means Westwood could have flown over.
The Worksop golfer could have then competed in this week’s World Golf Championship event in Memphis, and next week’s USPGA Championship.
The former world No 1, whose caddie is girlfriend Helen Storey, entered both events to keep his options open.
But he has decided he will play two more of the six Tour events scheduled for England and Wales in the coming weeks, rather than head to the USA.
Westwood, 47, said he was still not comfortable at the thought of travelling to America, where the death toll from coronavirus is now close to 150,000.
He has found it hard enough to handle the strict health protocols imposed by the European Tour this week, even though he was full of praise for the way they are battling to make the game safe.
Westwood stressed his final round 79 at the British Masters – which dropped him to last place among the 70 players who made the cut at Close House – was down to “tons of rust”, and not the distraction of the anti-coronavirus measures.
The event was won by 54-hole leader Renato Paratore.
The 23-year-old Italian never looked like being caught as he claimed the £187,000 winner’s cheque, finishing 18 under par, three shots ahead of Danish teenager Rasmus Hojgaard.
Westwood said: “I know they’ve dropped the two-week quarantine in America now, but I still don’t feel comfortable about what is happening there, and I don’t feel like it is right to jump on a plane for 12 hours.
“I’ve felt like I was out of my comfort zone with the coronavirus protocols we’ve this week, so if I got to Memphis I think I would feel even more uncomfortable playing golf tournaments over there at the moment.
“I’m still concerned that America doesn’t take it as seriously as the rest of the world. It still seems to be one of the hotspots for outbreaks.
“I can control me not getting the virus and take all the measures I can, but somebody might pass it on.
“I don’t really want to get ill with it, and I’m slightly asthmatic.
“If I tested positive in Memphis I would have to stay there for two weeks and I’m not sure about insurance policies etc.
“Right now there are too many what ifs.
“If you take all of them into consideration, there is something wrong.
“So probably Hanbury Manor on August 6 will be the next one for me.”