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Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Ian Poulter  (Getty Images)
Ian Poulter (Getty Images)
Five of the world's top ten golfers are playing the new-look Wentworth Club this week - and every one of them could soon be challenging Tiger Woods for the World Number One spot.

That is the view of sixth-placed Ian Poulter, who has overcome what he admits was "a bit of a scare" with his neck to join the fight for a first prize of €750,000 at The European Tour's showpiece BMW PGA Championship.

"It's closer now than it ever was because, obviously, of the points that Tiger has dropped over the last 12 months," said the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Champion.

Lee Westwood moved to third in the rankings for the first time this week, but when asked if he could envisage his Ryder Cup teammate overtaking Woods this year Poulter said: "I can see anybody in the top ten.

"If they play great for a spell or three or four months, have a couple of wins and a couple of big finishes, then they can certainly get to the points that Tiger is at now, for sure."

As well as Poulter and Westwood this week's field also boasts Ernie Els, the co-designer of the new West Course lay-out, defending champion Paul Casey and Rory McIlroy.

They currently stand seventh, eighth and ninth in the rankings, while Martin Kaymer and Padraig Harrington at 11th and 13th add to the star quality on show.

The biggest change at Wentworth is at the par five 18th, which now has a wide stream short of the newly-raised putting surface, while the greens have been completely relaid.

Westwood has not missed the flagship tournament since his 1994 debut, but is hoping for an upturn in fortunes.

After finishing runner-up to Colin Montgomerie in 2000 he has made the cut only twice.

"Any changes were going to be good changes for me," said the man who has finished third, third and second in the last three Majors and came fourth in the recent Players Championship after leading with a round to go.

"I just have always struggled on the greens here for some reason," he commented.

"I can never really figure it out, but some courses just don't fit your eye sometimes."

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KHAN, SimonENG18-6
T2ANDERSSON HED, FredrikSWE18-5
T2DONALD, LukeENG18-5
4GALLACHER, StephenSCO18-4
5WILLETT, DannyENG18-3
T6LAWRIE, PaulSCO18-2
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