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Open Door For Westwood

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All of Europe's top names are in Cologne, Germany, for this week's Linde German Masters. All except Darren Clarke. Clarke is home in Ireland awaiting the birth of his first child. That means Lee Westwood can extend his lead over the Ulsterman atop the 2000 Order of Merit by just making the cut.
 
This could be another lucrative week for Westwood. Last week, the Englishman captured the Belgacom Open, his fifth title of the year, and passed Clarke for the top spot in season earnings.
 
Over $2.4 million is up for grabs at the Gut Larchenhof Golf Club; and only 108 players are in the field. But while the field has been limited, due to the decreased amount of daylight in Germany this time of the year, the quality is superb.
 
Westwood will battle Nick Faldo, Paul Lawrie, Colin Montgomerie, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jean Van de Velde, Thomas Bjorn, who withdrew last week due to an injured foot; Michael Campbell, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington, Vijay Singh, Carlos Franco, three-time Linde victor Bernhard Langer and defending champion Sergio Garcia.
 
In all, eight of the 11 previous champions are in attendance, save Sandy Lyle, Clarke and Barry Lane. Like Clarke, Lane is an expectant father this week.
 
Westwood currently lead Clarke by over $60K on the Order of Merit. A win this week would be worth $400,000.
 

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