Lee Westwood’s chances of placing second or third at yet another major championship have been put on hold. The runner-up at this year’s Masters and British Open pulled out of the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship after posting a six-over 76 at Firestone on Friday.
Westwood injured his calf at the French Open the first week in July. It has resulted in swelling in his right ankle, which flared up at Firestone. Via the AP:
“There’s no strength in it,” he said. “I don’t have confidence in it, and then on the way down I’m finding it hard to hold my weight on it and then push off.”
“I’d like to be able to play my best and work my hardest, which I can’t do,” Westwood said after his round. “I can’t even hit balls, you know? It’s evident that I’m rusty since the Open because I haven’t been able to practice. It’s just a vicious circle, really.”
In a statement Westwood said he will be out for as long as it takes to get better, but he hopes to return in time for the Ryder Cup the first week in October. He has already secured a spot on the European team, leading the standings in money and world ranking points.
Westwood was having an excellent year on the PGA Tour, locking up his first victory in America since 1988 at the St. Jude Classic. He has been the most consistent performer at major championships in the past two years — he has five top-three finishes since 2008. (Best player without a major? I think so. Definitely the most accomplished in recent years.) Ranked third in the world rankings, Westy also had an opportunity to take down Tiger Woods as number one.