Westwood and McIlroy partners in Shanghai

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Lee Westwood will play with Rory McIlroy in Shanghai today less than a week after describing the 22-year-old’s move to a different management company as a “bizarre decision”.

World No 3 McIlroy and No 2 Westwood have been drawn together for the opening round of the Shanghai Masters, a 30-man event offering a record first prize of £1.25m.

The pair were stablemates until US Open champion McIlroy told manager Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler that he was moving away and joining Ryder Cup partner Graeme McDowell at Dublin-based Horizon.

The Northern Irishman flew to Istanbul to spend time with girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, world No 1 women’s tennis player, but resumes his career with interest surrounding what was behind his switch. Among those also playing are Padraig Harrington, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey.

Yorkshire’s Richard Finch, John Parry and Danny Willett contest the Andalucia Valderrama Masters. Finch is the closest of the trio to sealing a spot at the season-ending Dubai World Championship in December. He is currently 62nd, £8,000 shy of the top 60.