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Tiger Woods could still join European Tour

Tiger Woods, who has rewritten the record books over the past five years, may try to become the No. 1 money earner in golf on both sides of the Atlantic.

The world No. 1, who scored a four-shot victory in the European Tournament Players' Championship in Heidelberg on Sunday, could achieve the unique feat of being U.S. and European No. 1 in the same year.

If he were to go straight into Europe's rankings he would be running away with the top spot, having added $400,000 after winning the fifth European Tour title of his career and the second of this campaign.

He has not ruled out the possibility of going for the double.

Asked on Sunday if he had thought about playing a sufficient number of events this year to qualify for the European order of merit, Woods answered: "It's a lot to ask but who knows? You never know."

To qualify he would have to pay his tour fee and put one extra European-rated event on to his schedule.

As reigning British Open champion, he is a category one tour member and has a 10-year exemption to play on the European Tour as he pleases to qualify for the rankings, provided he plays the mandatory 11 events.

Meanwhile, the last two European Tour No. 1s -- Lee Westwood and the man he deposed, fellow Briton Colin Montgomerie -- hope for great things at the British PGA Championship, beginning at Wentworth on Friday.

Westwood, who has gone through a lean spell, showed signs of rediscovering his form with a first-round 66 in Heidelberg, only to slump to a share of 52nd place with a final-round 77.

However, Wentworth was the scene of Westwood's final title of a European record-equalling six last year -- the World Matchplay Championship, in which he defeated Montgomerie at the 38th hole.

Montgomerie himself hopes to rewrite the record books as he aims for a fourth successive British PGA crown. The Scot won it for a record third time last May, when Westwood was three strokes back in joint second place.

Montgomerie, seven times European No. 1, finished joint 10th in Heidelberg.

"It was disappointing in one sense but at the same time encouraging," he said. "I only had one bogey in the last three days and that was as good as anyone.

"I'm going to Wentworth with added confidence. A top 10 shows I'm getting there. The game's a whole lot better than it has been."


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