Perhaps Lee Westwood is secretly Will Hunting. Or maybe he just got lucky. Whatever the case, Westwood, by not playing last week, earned an invitation to the 2017 Players Championship.
In the latest world rankings release, Westwood moved from No. 53 to No. 50, a noteworthy and timely development as the OWGR top 50 get the call to Sawgrass. Two of the players he jumped — Hideto Tanihara and Russell Henley — were not credited for their Zurich Classic performances, as the tournament awarded zero ranking points (Tanihara and partner Hideki Matsuyama finished T-32, while Henley missed the cut). Westwood also went ahead of Jeunghun Wang, who failed to secure a top-50 finish at the Volvo China Open.
Westwood made the climb thanks to the OWGR’s divisor. For a refresher, there is a minimum divisor of 40 tournaments over the two-year ranking period, and a maximum divisor of a player’s last 52 tournaments.
The 44-year-old Englishman has enjoyed past success at Sawgrass, with five top-10s in 13 appearances.