The Loop

Daly over Westwood?

April 27, 2010

England's Lee Westwood, the fourth-ranked player in the world, was denied a sponsor exemption to play in the St. Jude Classic, which has extended one to John Daly. Go figure.

Westwood, who is not a member of the PGA Tour, wanted to play the Memphis event as a tune-up for the U.S. Open the following week. "I'm at the point in my career now and the age where I'm at a standard where I can play pretty much where I want when I want," he said in this story on Sky Sports. "That's how it is this year - apart from one event."

Daly once lived in Memphis and obviously has ties there. Even at that, it's a curious decision on the part of the tournament. Last year, Daly made news at the event, his first after his PGA Tour suspension was lifted, for receiving a restraining order against his estranged wife Sherrie.

In the last five years, his best finish in Memphis is a tie for 59th (in '09). He missed the cut in '08, finished 79th in '07, withdrew in '06 and tied for 72nd in '05.

Westwood has finished second (in the Masters), T-3 and T-3 in the last three major championships. He's made the cut in 13 of 13 events since the beginning of '09.

A strange decision, indeed.

-- John Strege