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Lee Westwood withdraws from Johnie Walker Classic

Lee Westwood has decided to give everyone else a head-start in his defence of the European Tour's Order of Merit title he won on Sunday.

Westwood has pulled out of this week's Johnnie Walker Classic. Despite being held this week, it is technically the first counting event on the European Tour's 2001 schedule and money list.

The 27-year-old from England will also miss the second event, the Accenture World Match Play Championship in Melbourne the first week of January.

Darren Clarke is the defending champion there and will be one of the favorites for the $1 million first prize in the absence of not only Westwood, but also world No. 1 Tiger Woods, the player he beat in this year's final, and a host of other leading players.

Lee Westwood will be skipping the trip to the Far East. Allsport.

They are all voting with their feet against the scheduling of an event on the other side of the world in the first week of the year.

Clarke plays in Japan this week, while Woods is the top attraction at the Johnnie Walker Classic. Westwood's next appearance is the Million Dollar Challenge in South Africa in a fortnight.


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