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Westwood takes up Tour membership in '12

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Lee Westwood’s on-again, off-again relationship with the PGA Tour will once again be on in 2012, as he has decided to take up membership, it was announced on Wednesday.

The world’s No. 3-ranked player was last a full-time member in 2008, but didn’t compete in the minimum 15-event requirement in order to retain privileges and until now hadn’t sought a card since then.

“I missed The Players Championship last year when watching it on television,” Westwood said via statement. “It was always a scheduling issue for me. Though the rules changed making it exempt from PGA Tour restrictions, I had already set my schedule for later in the year in Asia. I didn’t want to break any of those commitments.

“It’s a great event and one I’ve always enjoyed playing. It just felt right in Ryder Cup year to commit to a full program in the United States. The FedEx Cup looked pretty good on TV this year. I thought it would be great to give it a go, having never taken part.”

Westwood maintained that competing on the PGA Tour won’t affect his European Tour commitments next season. He will begin his year at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship – co-sanctioned by both tours – and plans to compete in the FedEx Cup, should he qualify.

“We are delighted to welcome back Lee as a member of the PGA Tour,” executive vice president and chief of operations Andy Pazder said. “He’s obviously proven himself to be one of the very best and most consistent players in the world, and the fans of the PGA Tour will enjoy having more opportunities to watch him compete.”

Westwood owns two career PGA Tour titles, winning the 1998 Freeport McDermott Classic and last year’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, defeating Robert Garrigus and Robert Karlsson in a playoff.