Westwood to play Wales Open as Ryder Cup tuneup

Lee Westwood committed to play the Wales Open prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Lee Westwood committed to play the Wales Open prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup. ( Associated Press )

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Englishman Lee Westwood has committed to play at the ISPS Handa Wales Open on Sept. 18-21 as a tuneup to the following week's Ryder Cup in Scotland.

Westwood, 41, was named by European captain Paul McGinley as one of three wild-card selections, joining Ian Poulter and Stephen Gallacher on Tuesday to a European team that is the favorite for the Sept. 26-28 matches at Gleneagles' PGA Centenary Course.

“I can’t remember the last time I was as excited as I am now about playing in a regular Tour event,” Westwood said from his U.S. home in West Palm Beach, Fla. “The ISPS Handa Wales Open had always been in the back of my mind as long as I made the team, and now that I have, that’s where I’ll be. It’s going to be a great week and perfect preparation.”

Phil Mickelson and Luke Donald talked at last week's Deutsche Bank Championship about the possibility of playing in Wales the week before the Ryder Cup. Mickelson, who qualified for the U.S. team, decided against playing the week before the biennial matches, and Donald was not selected by McGinley.

For Westwood, the Wales Open would be his first competitive event since missing the cut at the Aug. 21-24 Barclays, the first FedEx Cup playoff event.

“From everything I know and heard, it’s going to be the ideal place to be and play the week before the Ryder Cup,” Westwood said. “Paul’s attention to detail will ensure we are all perfectly prepared wherever we are coming from, but I’m thrilled that Wales will be my starting point.”

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