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Lee Westwood refuses to change plans

Former European number one Lee Westwood is refusing to alter his U.S. schedule, even if it costs him a Ryder Cup place in September.

"I'm not prepared to change my schedule for the sake of playing in one week's golf," Westwood told reporters on the eve of the British Masters.

"I have the future to plan for and I set out my stall last year to give it a few years in America and I'm going to stick to that."

Briton Westwood and Irishman Padraig Harrington were highlighted last week by European captain Ian Woosnam as leading players who could miss the match against the Americans at the K Club in Ireland.

The duo are lagging behind the top five automatic places on the Ryder Cup world points table, with Westwood 12th and Harrington 13th. The 12-man team will comprise those leading five and the top five from the European points list, plus two wildcard choices.

Woosnam, worried that too many high-profile players will finish up needing a wildcard pick, said they risked missing out if they did not play more in Europe.

Westwood and Harrington will now compete in Europe for three consecutive tournaments, starting at the Belfry on Thursday.

"A lot happens through the summer and a lot can change," said Englishman Westwood. "This week, for example, we are playing for nearly half a million points (first prize).

"You win this or next week or the week after and you are almost guaranteed to be in the side. But if you look at it now, somebody is going to miss out.

"I love playing in the Ryder Cup and it is a very proud moment when you tee up but I'm doing this for a living."

Westwood, however, said he did not want to rely on a wildcard.

"I have a good record in the Ryder Cup and I've won twice around the course they are playing it," he said. "But I am of the opinion that if you do not qualify automatically then you don't don't deserve to be there.

"Leave the last two spots open to someone striking form at the right time."

Harrington believes Woosnam is right to crack the whip and is now largely committed to Europe, apart from three U.S. events in June including the U.S. Open.

"When it comes down to it, Woosie is only going to have two captain's picks," said the Irishman.

 




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