x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

No 1 spot on hold as leg injury sidelines Westwood

Lee Westwood has decided not to play again this month because of his nagging leg injury, and as a result will not take the world No 1 spot off Tiger Woods on October 31.

Lee Westwood has decided not to play again this month because of his nagging leg injury - and as a result will not take the world No 1 spot off Tiger Woods on October 31. Westwood had a chance to end Woods's five-year reign yesterday with a top-two finish in the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, but managed only 11th place. If he had gone to Vilamoura to defend his Portugal Masters title this week he would have had to finish third to take the No 1 spot.

But the fact that he has pulled out of the event and Woods is not back in action until the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai on November 4-7 means they will swap places before then. Although he had wanted to achieve the top spot on the course Westwood, who helped Europe win back the Ryder Cup straight after a six-week lay-off, said last night: "I'll take it any way. I've had a great year until getting injured. Look at all the world ranking points I've won - I was leading that by a mile before my injury.

"But I'm not allowing myself to think about it until it happens. It's something I've always dreamt of." The only way Woods can hang on to his position would be to enter another tournament this month.