SHEBOYGAN, WISONSIN // The final major of the year began without the world's third best player - and Europe's best - at Whistling Straits yesterday. But as Lee Westwood rests his ruptured calf muscle in Portugal, Colin Montgomerie, Europe's Ryder Cup captain, is not too worried. Montgomerie, who is playing in Wisconsin after receiving an invite to the US PGA Championship, spoke yesterday to Andrew Chandler, Westwood's manager.
"He will be hitting balls in four weeks, which is great news for everybody in Europe," he said. "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. "He wants to play in the preceding event [The Vivendi in Paris on September 23-26] and I would be glad to see him there." Westwood, who pulled out after two rounds of the world championship in Akron last Friday, would have had another chance to go to world No 1 this week.
Tiger Woods, however, remains under threat not only from Phil Mickelson yet again, but also for the first time from Steve Stricker, currently ranked fourth. * Press Association