Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Lee Westwood backs out of Dunhill challenge

No show: Lee Westwood will sit out the Dunhill Links
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: Rory McIlroy celebrates after Europe defeated the USA 14.5 to 13.5 to retain the Ryder Cup during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Justin Rose of Europe and his wife Kate Rose attend the 39th Ryder Cup Gala at Akoo Theatre at Rosemont on September 26, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Lee Westwood, one of Europe's Ryder Cup heroes, has pulled out of this week's Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

It leaves only three members of the winning side in the field — Paul Lawrie, Peter Hanson and Martin Kaymer — plus American Dustin Johnson.

Westwood won the title in 2003, as did Lawrie on its first staging two years earlier and Kaymer two years ago immediately after being involved in the Cup win at Celtic Manor.

This time the German goes there as the man who holed the putt that kept the trophy in European hands.

Oscar Pistorius and Michael Phelps are among the stars from other sports taking part in the pro-am format. The first three days are at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, then the leaders play the final round back at St Andrews.

Last year, Belfast golfer Michael Hoey played exceptionally well to hold off fellow countryman Rory McIlroy and lift the most prestigious title of his career.

World No.1 McIlroy is expected to take a few weeks off after his Ryder Cup-winning exploits in Chicago.

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