Drone golf — will it ever take off?
It might be early days, but it got the thumbs up from the professionals after Lee Westwood defeated Masters champion Danny Willett and Britain’s Andrew “Beef” Johnston at a new exhibition event.
The English Ryder Cup veteran came out on top in Turkey after flying his golf ball and aiming for the hole at the 16th green.
Westwood launched his drone from a villa at the Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort in Antalya, before negotiating obstacles and dropping his ball close to the hole.
Neither Westwood nor Johnston got close.
“This is undoubtedly one of the highlights of my career, one of my proudest moment,” Westwood said after the event, on the eve of the European Tour’s Turkish Open tournament.
“I am really pleased to kick the week off with a win. It was really tough stepping up to the tee with the winds being so strong and not having used a drone before, but with the help of my drone caddy there was no stopping me.
“I hope to defend my Turkish Airlines Drone Golf Championship trophy next year.”
The Turkish Open is the first of three tournaments in the European Tour’s season-ending Race to Dubai’s final series, with 78 players battling it out for the $7 million prize fund.
Denmark’ s Thorbjorn Olesen took a six-shot lead into weekend after Friday’s nine-under-par 62, which broke the course record.
Spain’s Adrian Otaegui had earlier set a new record of 63, and finished the second round tied for second with Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee.
Westwood and Johnston were 13 shots off the lead in a tie for 34th place, while Willett was three strokes further back in equal 58th.