Tiger is next in Westwood's sights

This weekend the Englishman can end Woods' six-year reign as the world's No 1 player

America will be able to cope without having the Ryder Cup – but without the world No 1 on their Tour? On another good day for Europe, Lee Westwood announced he will not be taking up his US card next year, even if he does supplant Tiger Woods here this week.

Second place in this Dunhill Links Championship on Sunday will see Westwood become the first Briton to hold top spot in the rankings since Nick Faldo in 1994 and the first human other than Tiger since Vijay Singh in 2004. It is an enticing prospect that could only possibly be downplayed by what came the weekend before.

Stories will continue to be told these next four days as celebrities share the fairways of St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns in this glorified pro-am. And with nine players of the triumphant European team in the $5m field the yarns have already entered the land of nostalgia. Westwood was in the media centre yesterday recounting how Amy Mickelson toasted him in table tennis at the after-match party. Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, explained how he just stood next to the ping-pong and shouted abuse. "Tiger and Phil were dusting everyone," he revealed. "I think they combine better as a table tennis team than a golf team."

McIlroy stressed he was joking (and he was wise to do so after all that Ryder Cup controversy about how he would "love to face" the struggling Woods) and went on to say how the Americans handled the "loss with class". Indeed, they did. But whether the PGA Tour will take Westwood's snub so graciously is doubtful. Not since Ian Woosnam back in 1991 has a world No 1 dared not to be a member of the self-avowed biggest tour in the world, but that would not bother Westwood. He has different priorities.

"The only reason I would be joining the US Tour would be for money," said the 37-year-old, before explaining how competing for the $10m play-off first prize would affect his family life. "The FedEx Cup sits right in the middle of the kids' summer holidays and I like going on holiday with them for a couple of weeks. I don't want to be dictated to and have to play in FedEx Cup when it doesn't mean that much to me."

As Westwood alluded, it is nigh on compulsory for US Tour members to play in the play-offs. Westwood admitted there had been "persuasion" from the American side, but this Iron Man is not for turning. Not when it would come to leaving his beloved Worksop. He said: "My kids live here, my family live here, my horses are trained here, I pay my taxes here, I receive my child benefit here... no hang on, that's gone."

With that he was off on his sardonic way, although interestingly not to play a practice round. Fatigue is an understandable concern this week, particularly as he had seven weeks on the sidelines before the Ryder Cup with a calf injury. It would be a monumental effort if he succeeded, but he does have form on this hallowed turf. "The last time I played properly competitively was at St Andrews when coming second in the Open," he said. "So I don't feel I've really been away."

Back in July, Graeme McDowell was a mere US Open champion. Now the Ulsterman is the hero of all Europe after securing the point which regained the Ryder Cup. With the exception of Colin Montgomerie, no man will be asked for his recollections more and yesterday he was extremely forthcoming. He almost declined his moment of immortality.

"After Monty announced the order for the singles and I was 12th he asked if everyone was comfortable with their position and I was on the verge of saying something," said McDowell. "I had a blank look on my face and Thomas Bjorn [the vice-captain] said to me 'G-Mac, are you OK?' Stupidly I didn't say anything. Well, it wasn't stupidly in the end."

McDowell was concerned "he wouldn't be part of the winning euphoria" as he expected Europe to have already won by the last match. History now knows different and so, too, does Montgomerie who manfully tried to put his experience into words yesterday. The Prime Minister has been in touch, as has the EU President, as have other "world leaders"; but rather pointedly Paul Casey hasn't.

Of course, Casey was the first eligible player from the world's top 10 ever to be overlooked for the Ryder Cup and for the first time, Montgomerie outlined how "horribly awful" the decision was and how he believes no captain should ever be placed in the same position again. Furthermore, he is determined to ensure no captain is.

"That Sunday at Gleneagles was the worst day of my professional career," said Monty, reflecting back on the night of his wildcard announcement. "Having to do that to my colleagues my peers, my friends... I shouldn't have to leave out top-10 players. I'm a member of the committee and the qualification system will come up in our meetings. I think you'll find there might be changes."

World rankings

1. T Woods (US) 8.86pts

2. L Westwood (Eng) 8.55pts

3. P Mickelson (US) 8.43pts

4. S Stricker (US) 7.70pts

5. J Furyk (US) 7.49pts

6. M Kaymer (Ger) 7.15pts

7. P Casey (Eng) 6.28pts

8. L Donald (Eng) 5.84pts

9. R McIlroy (NI) 5.68pts

10. E Els (SA) 5.49pts

Westwood's record this year

Abu Dhabi Golf Championship MC

Qatar Masters T3

Dubai Desert Classic 2

Match Play Championship T17

Honda Classic T9

WGC CA Championship T30

Houston Open T8

Masters T2

Quail Hollow Championship T38

The Players Championship T4

PGA Championship T10

St Jude Classic 1

US Open T16

Open de France T18

The Open 2

News
people
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes