Some commit to a day of Twitter silence to protest against the bitter and twisted activity of social media trolls. Lee Westwood prefers the Worksop method, which is based on that old football slogan: ‘Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.’ In short he takes them on.
Westwood did not have the best of days on the golf course during Sunday’s final round of the PGA Championship, finding trouble on the outward nine to kill any hopes he had of a first major victory. After failing to close out the Open championship at Muirfield from a winning position last month, Westwood told us he was no longer disappointed by golf.
His reaction to the boneheads on Twitter suggests otherwise. Sunday’s 76 saw him drop 13 strokes behind winner Jason Dufner. There was no talking after that. Westwood walked straight from the scorers hut, past the microphones to the locker room, and later into the Twittersphere, pistols loaded.
The meat of the response to criticisms he received about, among other things, his putting and a career without a major, was contained in examples like these: “Just sick of negative a******** sat behind a keyboard with a pitiful life mate, that’s all.”
“Like I give a f*** what the haters say. That’s life. Some people will always be just a little bit better and work just a little bit harder”.
“Ahhh just when I’m in the mood the haters all go quiet! They must have the porn on.”
“Come on you girly boy trolls! I’ve only won just over two million on the course this year. Need you to keep me entertained a bit longer than this.”
“I love slagging people back. Had enough of sitting there taking it. Bring it on.”
There was balance in the exchanges, too. “Not (aimed at) my decent human beings followers of course. Just the p***** that should be locked up by the twitter police.”
“Not been hacked. Just being honest. Bored now. Westy out.”
Rory McIlroy is another who has fought the odd Twitter campaign. His frustration at Oak Hill was not with the haters but with himself, and this an entirely positive reflex after finishing in a tie for eighth at the PGA Championship, his best result at a major this year.
From the drive that he crashed down the first fairway on Thursday, McIlroy sensed his game returning. Three birdies in four holes was validation of that. On Sunday his card was marred by one bad break, his approach rolling off the green into rocks at the fifth resulting in a 7. He still signed for a level par 70.
“I’m just a little disappointed now that I didn’t capitalise on how well I played but my game is in great shape,” he said. “Everyone knows the majors are what I am really after so again, that’s the reason I’m so disappointed. But you look at what’s coming up with the FedEx and the big European events in Asia and there’s plenty of golf ahead of me to turn this into a very good year. That’s going to be the key now, to make sure I go out there and round off this year on a good note.”
The four tournament Fed-Ex play-offs, which begin with the Barclays next week, mark the finale of the PGA Tour season and carry a $10 million jackpot for the winner of the Fed-Ex points table. McIlroy won twice, back-to-back, during last year’s climax in America before signing off with victory in Dubai to seal the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic.