Westwood may alter schedule for order of merit tilt

ST ANDREWS, Scotland, Oct 3 (Reuters) Former European number one Lee Westwood said today he might change his mind and play in Europe's season-ending Volvo Masters if he feels he has a chance of winning the order of merit.

The 34-year-old Englishman raised eyebrows a few weeks ago when he announced he would miss the Nov. 1-4 event at Valderrama, Spain to play the Singapore Open instead.

He told reporters ahead of the Dunhill Links tournament that he may alter his schedule should he remain in contention for the moneylist title.

''If I won this week and nothing too extreme happened the week of the World Matchplay (in which Westwood is not playing), then if I was in touching distance and did well in Portugal (Portugal Masters), it would be a difficult decision between Singapore and the Volvo Masters.

''I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.'' BREAKAWAY GROUP Several top players have decided to play in Singapore and miss Valderrama, including Westwood, Ernie Els, Darren Clarke and David Howell.

The breakaway group argued that they had committed to the Asian event on a three-year deal before the European Tour switched weeks for the Volvo Masters.

However, after winning the British Masters two weeks ago to move to 12th on the European money list, and with an 0,000 first prize for this week's Dunhill Links at St Andrews, Westwood has now reassessed his Singapore trip.

The 2000 money-list winner, who has won twice this season, feels he has virtually started a new career by improving his short game and getting fit.

''It's all coming together,'' added Westwood. ''It obviously gives you a great confidence boost when you feel like you don't have a weakness in your game and you can go out and attack the course more.'' Westwood will have strong opposition in his bid to win at this week's event, which is played over three courses: St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.

Els, British Open champion Padraig Harrington and 2005 tournament winner Colin Montgomerie are in the field.

Reuters BJR RN1746

Story first published: Wednesday, October 3, 2007, 18:38 [IST]
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