His leg not feeling better, Westwood closer to taking extended break

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Lee Westwood chipped off the road on the famous Road Hole at St. Andrews on Friday, but his road to the future look like it will include a significant detour while his left calf heals.
By
Mark Garrod
PA Sport

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Lee Westwood played on through the pain on Friday at the Dunhill Links Championship, but it looks more likely that he will become world No. 1 by taking time off next week than by finishing second at St. Andrews on Sunday.

The Ryder Cup star, who suffered a recurrence of his calf injury during his opening 70 on Thursday, added a level-par 72 at the Home of Golf. Needing a first- or second-place finish to dethrone Woods this weekend, Westwood is outside the top 30 at halfway.

If he skips his title defense at the Portugal Masters next week, however, the 37-year-old from England will overtake Woods on the rankings -- calculated over a two-year period -- at the end of this month.

"It was pretty much the same as yesterday," he said. "I'm just struggling with it and I'm probably just going to get through this week and make a decision.

"I don't like pulling out of tournaments, but he said when you get something like that you just need to take the time off and make sure it's 110 percent when you come back," Westwood said.

Asked if it could mean another lengthy break after this week -- the Ryder Cup was his first competitive action since Aug. 6 -- he replied: "Could be, yeah.

"My gut instinct is to get it better. I'm just consciously thinking about it and the longer the day goes on the worse it gets,” he added. "It's not great and shutting down for the rest of the year is an option."