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Friday, September 17, 2010
Lee Westwood back on track?


Lee Westwood took his first steps Thursday toward a return at the Ryder Cup, playing his first round of golf in more than a month due to a calf injury that has plagued him all summer.

The round took place at Lindrick Golf Club in England, near Westwood's home.

"I was a bit rusty, but I had six birdies and an eagle -- in a 30 mph wind,'' Westwood said, according to the Irish Times.

Ranked third in the world, Westwood's status has been of great concern to the European Ryder Cup team's cause.

He finished second to Phil Mickelson at the Masters and was again second to Louis Oosthuizen at the Open Championship but withdrew from the Bridgestone Invitational in early August due to the lingering calf problem. Westwood, 37, also missed the PGA Championship and has not played a competitive round since.

Westwood walked 14 holes of his round and plans to play in a charity event Monday and Tuesday in Scotland. He will put himself through a 36-hole test next Friday -- a week before the Ryder Cup is to begin in Wales.

Westwood has played in every Ryder Cup dating to 1997 and has a 14-10-5 record.

Bob Harig covers golf for ESPN.com. He can be reached at BobHarig@gmail.com.