Westwood and McIlroy limited to two PGA events

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The Independent Online

Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy were informed last night that their decision to rip up their PGA Tour cards means they will not be able to play as many times in America as they may wish.

The news will have come as a surprise to them, although US officials insisted they were not being vindictive in limiting the defectors to what will almost certainly amount to only two regular PGA Tour events next season. That will be at least one fewer than McIlroy and Westwood would have been planning.

Westwood, the new world No 1, played in four regular PGA Tour events last season, winning one of them, the St Jude Classic in June. He should not have been teeing it up in Memphis that week as he had already played three regular tournaments. The rules state that pros who resign their cards will have a five-year window in which they will be allowed to play in only 10 PGA Tour events, including the four majors, the three official World Golf Championship events and the Players. Westwood resigned in 2008.

A Tour spokesman said that Westwood had slipped through the net this season. "We did not closely monitor his play in PGA Tour events," said Andy Pazder, the senior vice-president of tournament administration. However, Westwood will not be so fortunate this time around.

Neither will McIlroy, who, as he shares the same management company as Westwood, had not believed the limit would be so draconian.