Westwood's place at the top of the world rankings could be threatened if Martin Kaymer improves [AFP]

World number one Lee Westwood missed his first cut in more than a year after crashing out of the Qatar Masters at the halfway stage in Doha.

The Briton missed a crucial birdie by millimetres on the 18th hole in a round of 75 that saw Westwood miss the halfway cut by a stroke at four-over par.

Westwood commenced the second round at two-over par but proceeded to drop four shots over his outward nine before eight straight pars.

He then found the front edge of the green at the par five 18th, some 25 feet from the flag.

However, he watched in despair as his putt stopped right on the edge of the hole without dropping for an eagle two.

He will now head to Dubai for a week's practice before the next European Tour tournament there, the Dubai Desert Classic, starts on February 10.

"I just didn't play very well today and that's why I needed to eagle the last," he said.

"I put it all down to early season rust.

"But I'm going down to Dubai and get on to the practice range and try and get some kind of rhythm back in my game."

Bowed out

It is the first occasion in just over year that Westwood has missed the cut anywhere in the world after he bowed out after just two rounds of last year's Abu Dhabi Championship.

Westwood now is in danger of losing his world number one crown should Germany's Martin Kaymer finish first or second in Doha on
Sunday.

But while Kaymer will play all four rounds he also continues to struggle in carding a second round 70 to finish right on the cut mark of three over par on Friday.

It leaves Kaymer heading to the weekend 10 shots behind Austria's Marcus Brier who carded a bogey free 66 in continuing windy conditions, and move one stroke clear of the field at seven under par.

Source: Agencies