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The upside of Westwood's Twitter rant

ESPN staff
August 16, 2013
Lee Westwood let it all come out on Twitter © AP

Lee Westwood's post-US PGA Championship Twitter unravelling has been golf's biggest talking point this week - bigger than Jason Dufner's first major and even the startling revelation that 43 beers can fit inside the Wanamaker trophy.

The world knows Westy lost it. We can put it all down to booze and the frazzling effects of four rounds at Oak Hill, but there's no coming back from the words he typed on Sunday night.

He wasn't in a bar with a few fans and his mates; he was filling the timelines of over 500,000 random people - most of whom have never and will never meet him. He was bated and he bit back hard.

We all know why. He was trolled and abused, and his credentials were being called into question by faceless hecklers who probably couldn't break 150 on a major championship course.

As an elite sportsman with over two decades in the business, Westwood is surely all-too familiar with the sentiment. You let it inflame you or inspire you. This time he went the wrong way.

It wasn't a good play and his reputation has unquestionably taken a hit. We all know Westy is a class act, but there was a little bit of the Sergio Garcias about his Twitter meltdown.

There may be an upside though. A lot of what Westwood typed has been brewing beneath for some time; the anger he feels towards those who doubt him and the attack-dog journalists who continue to undermine his career based on his record at the majors.

He's been carrying a sense of injustice with him into every big tournament - letting it magnify a desperate need to answer them back. Perhaps his Twitter splurge will serve as a cathartic exercise in ridding his demons.

We all know he's angry now, and we understand why. There's nothing left for Westwood to hide anymore. There's no reason to pretend everything's alright.

England's best golfer of his generation has taken a stand. It wasn't a particularly noble one, and the medium lacked class, but you can't doubt his fighting spirit. If Westwood could only translate his cavalier Twitter spirit to Sunday at the Masters in April, he might yet find the answer.

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