Westwood may meet his match in Stenson

As the top seed in this week's World Match Play Championship, Lee Westwood probably did not think he would have to tee it up in the first round against a former champion who, just a year ago, was seeded seventh. But thanks to the withdrawal of Toru Taniguchi, Henrik Stenson now stands in the way of the Englishman.

The Japanese was forced to pull out from the 64-man field yesterday with a neck injury. That has given the world No 65 his place. Stenson's plunge down the rankings can be traced back to this event in Tucson last year, when he lasted only one hole against Ben Crane because of flu symptoms. The resulting illness took such a toll on the Swede that only now is his game recovering.

It is an ominous development for Westwood, the world No 1, as Stenson is a fine matchplay exponent. He won this WGC title in 2007, beating Geoff Ogilvy in the final, and reached the semi-finals the following season before losing to eventual winner Tiger Woods.

Woods is seeded third and faces Thomas Bjorn in Wednesday's first round in Arizona. The American may have an interesting chat with Bjorn, the chairman of the European Tour's Tournament Players' Committee. Last week, Woods was fined for spitting on a green at the Dubai Desert Classic and George O'Grady, the Tour's chief executive, admitted that it was the reaction of a TV commentator which forced the Tour to break policy by naming Woods in a statement.

"We generally don't divulge the name of the players but there was no way that Mike Stewart [the tournament director] could not say it," said O'Grady. "The comments the Sky commentator [Ewen Murray] made to the British nation were so strong that there was no way you could hide behind anything and not divulge the name."

Woods may wonder why he is being singled out, particularly as O'Grady confirmed that previous spitting fines have gone unannounced. "In America, there is not the same feeling on spitting but it caused genuine outrage across Britain," explained O'Grady. "It is also frowned upon in the Gulf States and we have made a big song and dance about the European Tour adapting to the culture of the country it goes to."

* S S P Chowrasia had an agonising wait before winning his second European Tour title after Englishman Robert Coles' title dreams died on the final hole at the Indian Masters yesterday. Chowrasia was preparing for a play-off but Coles' final-hole collapse spared him the trouble. It also earned him a European Tour exemption until the end of the 2013 season. Chowrasia, without a title in 73 European Tour events since taking the 2008 Indian Masters, said: "At 15 under I was prepared for the play-off but, luckily for me, Coles failed to take advantage."

David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments