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England may have to qualify for World Cup event

Lee Westwood, here displaying the TPC of Europe Trophy he won in May. As England's highest ranked golfer his descision not to play in the World Cup causes problems. Allsport.
England may face the propect of having to qualify for the World Cup of Golf, to be held in Argentina in December, despite winning the event in 1998.

Lee Westwood has announced his decision not to take part in the forthcoming 2m event which means that England are unlikely to be among the 18 seeded teams.

This means that the nation will have to take part in a qualifying round along with other "minor" countries in Jamaica in October.

"You simply can't say 'yes' to everybody," said Westwood.

"You have to have some weeks off and I've never played the World Cup.

"I'm at the Million Dollar Challenge in Sun City, South Africa, the previous week and it's a long way from there to Argentina. I do an awful lot of travelling as it is."

The World Cup of Golf is part of the World Championship series with teams consisting of pairs of players battling it out for a first prize of 300,000 each.

The number of teams has been reduced from 32 to 24 with 18 of those decided by the highest-ranked available player from the world ranking at the end of the NEC World Championship in Ohio in August.

Westwood is currently 10th in the world but the next Englishman is Jamie Spence who is down in 97th spot with Mark James, Sam Torrance, Brian Davis and Nick Faldo languishing in the 100's.

England's only chance of leaping into the top 18 would be if the Englishmen behind Westwood can leap over Frenchman Jean van de Velde who is 75th in the world - France currently hold the 18th position.

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