Lee Westwood is looking to return to competitive play at the The Vivendi, to be held in Paris in late September, prior to assessment for Ryder Cup action.
Westwood ruptured a calf muscle recently and is currently recuperating in Portugal, and as world number three would much rather have been playing at the US PGA Tournament currently underway at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.
One man who is playing at Whistling Straits is Colin Montgomerie, the Ryder Cup captain, and he has been in conversation with those close to Westwood – very much a star of the squad – in order to gauge how the injured player is recovering. Montgomerie explained:
He will be hitting balls in four weeks, which is great news for everybody in Europe. Our team will be greatly weakened if he didn’t make it, so I’m delighted. That gives him still another couple of weeks to prepare. “
Westwood managed two rounds of the Bridgestone Invitational at Akron, Ohio, last week before being forced to withdraw thanks to the calf injury, and would have been in with a possible chance of going to number one in the standings had he been fit to play at Whistling Straits. Instead he must watch as world number two Phil Mickelson makes another attempt to topple the struggling Tiger Woods from the top of the leaderboard.
Mickelson needs to finish in the top four with Woods back in the mix, while world number four Steve Stricker is also on an outside chance but would need both Mickelson and Woods to under-perform.
Woods has not been playing to the best of his abilities of late and has gone many months now without a course win, while Mickelson is very much in form and looking to capitalize on the world leader’s current misfortune.