Westwood's miserable run of form forces Ohio withdrawal

After five missed cuts in a row - three in the United States, two in Europe - Lee Westwood has pulled out of this week's Memorial tournament in Columbus, Ohio.

However, it does not mean the former European No 1 is now available for the US Open qualifier at Walton Heath next Monday; he is still planning to do some promotional work for the watch company Audemars Piguet, one of his sponsors, in the States, on the same day and will now fly there at the weekend.

Westwood needed a top-five finish at last week's BMW Championship to climb into the world's top 50, but he is down to 55th after rounds of 75 and 74 continued a miserable run starting at the Masters last month. The Wentworth winner David Howell and Paul Casey - first and second on the Order of Merit - are competing in America this week, as are Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Greg Owen, Justin Rose and Jose Maria Olazabal.

Tiger Woods, who yesterday made his first public appearance - at a junior clinic in Little Rock, Arkansas - since the death of his father Earl four weeks ago, has decided against making his comeback at the Memorial tournament but has been practising for the US Open in two weeks' time.