Lee in full swing for freedom honour

Lindrick Golf Club, A57, Worksop.'Lee Westwood Golf Academy.
Lindrick Golf Club, A57, Worksop.'Lee Westwood Golf Academy.
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Lee Westwood has been nominated for an honorary title which will grant him the freedom of the district.

Bassetlaw councillors will vote on Monday whether to award the former World Number One an Honorary Freeman for his significant contribution to the community.

Lindrick Golf Club, A57, Worksop.'Lee Westwood Golf Academy.

Lindrick Golf Club, A57, Worksop.'Lee Westwood Golf Academy.

The 38-year-old, who has been a professional golfer for nearly 20 years, would be the first to be given the accolade in the council’s recent history.

A formal nomination was put forward toward the end of last year by Bassetlaw MP John Mann.

He said: “Lee Westwood is a man that Bassetlaw can be very proud of. More than anyone else, he has helped put Worksop on the international map.”

“He has never forgotten his roots and has remained actively involved in Worksop golfing throughout his career, in particular promoting the involvement of young people in golf.”

Lindrick Golf Club, A57, Worksop.'Lee Westwood Golf Academy.

Lindrick Golf Club, A57, Worksop.'Lee Westwood Golf Academy.

“In return Worksop people have closely followed Lee’s career with life stopping in many local households whilst the big tournaments are being played.”

“I can think of no better way of rewarding and honouring Lee Westwood’s success then Bassetlaw Council granting him the title of Honorary Freeman and giving him Freedom of the District.”

The Worksop golfer, who is one of only a handful to have won tournaments on every continent, has established himself at the top of world golf having represented Europe in the last seven consecutive Ryder Cups. The former Valley pupil, currently ranked third in the world, began playing the sport aged 13 and became Junior Champion of Notts.

He won his first amateur tournament - the Peter McEvoy Trophy - in 1990. He won the British Youth Championship and turned professional three years later.

Worksop Golf Club secretary Alan Mansbridge said the honour would be a fitting recognition.

“He is always very welcome here and the members appreciate him coming up,” he said.

“The freedom of Bassetlaw would be perfect because not many people have got it. It’s probably the best we can do for him.”

Each year the Guardian organises the Lee Westwood Junior Championship at the Windmill Lane course.

Along with the chance to meet Westwood, aspiring young golfers compete for a range of prizes.

Mr Mansbridge added: “He is a local lad and he has stayed local. People, especially youngsters, do look up to him and aspire to be like he is.”

“We have lots of young lads trying to get to that level. We have got a very good set of young golfers, all because of Lee.”