There has been a European outbreak of tweeting in the Dubai desert. A tweetwave, if you like. Joining golf’s twitterati this week was World No.1 Lee Westwood. The banter has been sparking between him and Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy. They’ve been winding each other up in a public forum. It’s been like listening to a bunch of mates down in the pub. (And by pub, I mean five-star players’ hotel.)
Westwood’s opening gambit set the tone. His dry wit shone through from the outset with the Twit King Poulter his target. “Couldn’t let Poulter have all the fun on here,” he tweeted. “And when Tiger joined I couldn’t let it just be him and Tiger.” Poulter’s comment a few years ago about taking on Tiger Woods in the world rankings just keeps coming back to haunt him. And Westwood hadn’t quite finished with his fellow countryman. “I'm delighted a Twitter god like yourself follows me so closely! Didn't see you in the gym sparrow legs!”
Next up on Westwood’s hit list was McIlroy. And the Northern Irishman’s new blond hair hadn’t gone unnoticed. “Just pleased I wasn't stood next to you when that flock of sea gulls flew over!” Westwood tweeted.
The Englishman explained why he could no longer resist this 140-character craze. "It’s a good way of interacting. I’ve always had a pretty good sense of humor, but it's impossible to show it on the course."
Westwood’s sardonic way with words is perfect for this bite-sized arena. “Paul Casey has just given me a bear hug! He doesn't know how dangerous that is after the chillis I've had!"
Westwood asked a question and got a deluge of answers, too, from his 31,196 followers (and counting) after 71 tweets. “Can anybody tell me why the moon looks bigger here in Dubai than at home? No I haven’t been drinking before you ask!” he tweeted. Perfect.
What we’ve learned this week is it's possible for someone to be both the best player in the world at his sport as well as a normal person. The new World No.1 has given a life lesson to the old No.1. Woods says he wants to “connect more with the fans.” But he hasn’t made much of an effort. What have we learned so far from his, ahem, four tweets? “Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I just finished a pretty tough cardio session because of all the apple & pumpkin pie.” Oh dear. Advantage Westwood.
And last word, err, tweet, to the World No.1 in Dubai, too. “I think it could be a long night! 1st corona went down quick! Think all the Euro tour tweeters have the same idea!” Cheers.