The European Tour will visit Bahrain for the first time in January as its Middle East swing stretches to four weeks. As in recent years the schedule for next season kicks off in South Africa with two tournaments either side of Christmas before moving on to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar and Dubai. The new event is the Volvo Tournament of Champions on January 27-30. Tour winners will compete with leading amateurs on one day and will celebrate the first 126-player field by bringing together current and past European Tour winners.
Meanwhile, Lee Westwood is looking forward to working under his seventh different Ryder Cup captain as he dreams of having the honour himself one day. Colin Montgomerie will be at the helm as Europe look to wrest the trophy back from the United States in October at Celtic Manor, Wales. Europe's No 1 is relishing the chance to see what the Scot brings to the role. "I'd love to be the captain one day. It's a massive honour and very few people get to do it," Westwood said.
"I've played under lots of different captains; I think Monty will be the seventh. Westwood, 37, could become world No 1 if he wins next week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Less than one point now separates the world's top three golfers - Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Westwood - and any of the three could take top spot after the event in Akron, Ohio. * PA