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Westwood skipping Players Championship

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Lee Westwood created a stir in Abu Dhabi with news today that he’s planning to skip The Players Championship in May.

The Independent of Great Britain characterized it as a “snub” in a headline there this morning.

Westwood is currently the No. 1 player in the world rankings. Because he gave up PGA Tour membership, he is limited to 10 PGA Tour appearances by PGA Tour rules. The Tour, however, announced late last year that it would no longer count The Players against that restriction for players who gave up membership, meaning Westwood could play it, plus 10 more PGA Tour events. Still, Westwood says it’s not enough to free him up for The Players.

“I'd go over for the Players if I could play in the tournament the week before, but I don't want to pitch up at the Players cold, having not played for four weeks since Augusta,' Westwood said. “So I'll play a couple of tournaments on the European Tour instead.”

Westwood would like to play Quail Hollow before The Players but says he can’t with his schedule already including 10 PGA Tour events: Honda Classic, Shell Houston, St. Jude, four majors and three World Golf Championships.