Westwood a doubt for Ryder Cup after succumbing to calf injury

Englishman admits he now faces a race against time to be fit to tackle the Americans at Celtic Manor in eight weeks

Lee Westwood marched into the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with the world No 1 ranking in his sights. Last night he limped out in the grim knowledge that he would not be competing in the final season of the major and perhaps not even the Ryder Cup.

The Englishman withdrew after a second-round 76 in Akron and revealed his worsening calf injury means he will not be teeing it up in next week's USPGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Westwood's mission now is to be fit in time for the Europe team who will take on America at Celtic Manor in eight weeks. But he confessed even that may be beyond him.

"I will be out for as long as it takes to get better," said Westwood. "I am just hoping that it will be in time for me to play in the Ryder Cup."

The 37-year-old had his ankle taped yesterday and, playing alongside Tiger Woods, struggled to a seven-over total. Asked afterwards what else he could do to relieve the discomfort, Westwood replied: "Sit on my backside for six weeks, like they keep telling me. It's the only way to improve it."

After consulting with his management team Westwood eventually heeded the advice and accepted he would have to return home to Worksop immediately to begin his recuperation work. "It just seems to be getting worse – there's no strength in it," he said. "I don't have confidence in it, and then on the way down I'm finding it hard to hold my weight on it and then push off."

Westwood has already sealed his Ryder Cup place, but six weeks on the sidelines would leave him with just a fortnight to get match-fit for the physically-demanding match on a hilly course which starts on 1 October. Colin Montgomerie will be desperate to have him in Newport as his absence would be a huge blow. A veteran of six Cups, he has Europe's second best scoring strike-rate. He is the continent's top-ranked player and is also the Tour's reigning No 1, having won his second Order of Merit last November. He would have gone into the USPGA as one of the favourites having finished in the top three in four of the last five majors. He came within one putt of making the 2008 US Open play-off at Torrey Pines and also the 2009 Open play-off at Turnberry. He tied for third in last year's USPGA Championship at Hazeltine.

Westwood suffered the ruptured plantaris muscle two weeks before the Open, but still managed to finish second at St Andrews three weeks ago. He has not played since – and is plainly not sure when he will play again. "I'd like to be able to play my best and work my hardest, which I can't do," he said. "I can't even hit balls, you know? It's evident that I'm rusty since the Open because I haven't been able to practice. It's just a vicious circle, really."

Eerily this was the same event in which Paul Casey was forced to pull out due to a rib injury that was to keep him out for three months. At the time the Englishman was the world No 3. Just like Westwood.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with excess, cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?