Lee Westwood paired with Phil Mickelson for WGC-HSBC Champions event

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Lee Westwood paired with Phil Mickelson for WGC-HSBC Champions event

Lee Westwood, the new world number one, has been drawn to play alongside Phil Mickelson in the opening round of the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai, which begins on Thursday, 4 November.

Westwood, who will also play alongside YE Yang, will be playing in his first tournament since overtaking Tiger Woods in the rankings to become the planet’s premier golfer.

However, Westwood will have to contend with three players who can all take over his mantle at the event. Woods, Mickelson and PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer all have the opportunity to rise to the top of the rankings should results go their way at the
£10.5m tournament.

Westwood ascended to the ranking summit on 31 October, when Kaymer, the current number three, failed to finish in the top two at the Andalucia Masters.

Woods had been at the top of the rankings for over five years after winning the Masters in 2005, holding on to the title of world number one for 281 weeks.

After a year where the pressures of revelations about his private life took their toll on his performances on the golf course, Woods is eager to start winning again.

He told reporters that: "To be number one in the world you have to win regularly and I haven't done that lately.
'Crowning jewel of Asian golf'

"As in every event I play, I'm here trying to win. If ever there was an event that deserved to be the first Asian tournament to impact the top of the world rankings this is the one. I've referred to it before as the crowning jewel of Asian golf."

Mickelson, meanwhile, is preparing to compete with a field of players made up of the winners of the world’s highest-ranked tournaments and warned about the threat posed by his rivals.

He said that: “There are very, very few events each year that have the strength in depth of the HSBC Champions. Every player in the field has the talent and the experience to win, it's a field of winners. Everyone wants to be number one in the world but the
only way to get there is to win tournaments and the HSBC is a big tournament, a great opportunity to advance."



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