Westwood well on course for Ryder Cup spot

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LEE Westwood’s latest victory has cemented his place in the qualifying positions for the Ryder Cup team.

Westwood’s seven shot victory at the Thailand Championship pushed him to No 2 in the world and with eight months to go, captain Jose Maria Olazabal will be delighted how his Ryder Cup team is shaping up so far.

Westwood, together with the other three in the world’s top four, Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer are all in qualifying positions along with last year’s hero Graeme McDowell, English duo Justin Rose and Simon Dyson, as well as Spanish trio Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Alvaro Quiros and Sergio Garcia.

Meanwhile, Luke Donald can add another accolade to his long list after winning the Golf Writers Trophy for 2011 ahead of joint runners-up Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

“Any award you win gives you a great amount of pleasure and for the golf writers to consider me as their player of the year means a lot, it really does,” Donald said.

“These are the people who really understand golf and appreciate all that I have achieved this year.

“All the people in the running - Rory, Darren, the Solheim Cup team and the Walker Cup team - would have been worthy winners and therefore it is very gratifying to get the vote ahead of all of them.”

Donald reached world No 1 in May, won the final event of the PGA Tour season in America to be their leading money-winner and then completed an unprecedented double by taking the European Tour title as well despite competing in only 13 counting tournaments.

The two European Tour events in England next year are The Open Championship at Lytham on July 19-22 and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth from May 24-27.