England’s Lee Westwood will become the new No. 1-ranked player in golf Monday morning, the inevitable coda to a 2010 that Tiger Woods would just as soon forget.
“It’s a great honor and a big responsibility,” Westwood said. “It certainly sounds and feels good right now.”
His ascent to golf’s No. 1 ranking for the first time in his 17-year pro career has been nothing if not unconventional.
For one thing, he hasn’t even been playing golf, instead following the fortunes of a racehorse he owns — Hoof It, which recently won a race at 9-1 odds — while resting his battered body.
“All I did for a week was sit with my foot in the air and then I started in the gym last week,” he wrote on his website, leewestwood.com, last week. “I was just about to start practicing when a bout of flu sidelined me again.”
Westwood’s reign at the top could be brief, depending on what happens at this week’s HSBC Champions in Shanghai, where he will compete in a loaded field that also includes Woods, Phil Mickelson and Martin Kaymer.
All three players would take over No. 1 with a win.