Westwood returns to PGA Tour

2011-11-23 18:53

Miami - Britain's world No 3 Lee Westwood has had a change of heart and rejoined the PGA Tour for the 2012 season.

Westwood, who last year questioned the need to play some of the events in the States, will split his time between the European Tour and the US circuit.

"It just felt right in Ryder Cup year to commit to a full programme in the United States," Westwood said in a statement.

Westwood's return also means he will be back at the Players Championship after upsetting the host last year by skipping the event, viewed in the States as the 'fifth major'.

The Englishman will also take part in the PGA Tour's season-ending playoffs, the FedEx Cup, for the first time, as he commits to more tournaments in the States ahead of the Ryder Cup in September in Illinois.

"I missed The Players Championship last year when watching it on television. 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," he said.

"It's a great event and one I've always enjoyed playing. 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," he added.

Players with a PGA Tour card are obliged to play a minimum of 15 events in the United States and Westwood will come up against Ryder Cup team mate Rory McIlroy in a number of those events after he opted to return next season.

Westwood begins his American involvement at the Accenture World Match Play in Arizona in February, the first of four World Golf Championship events of the year, and signs off with the FedEx Cup.

PGA Tour executive vice president Andy Pazder said: "We are delighted to welcome back Lee as a member of the PGA Tour. 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."