Westwood: still best player without a major

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iol spt june13 Westwood REUTERS Despite having won 35 tournaments around the globe, Lee Westwood is still seeking that elusive maiden major title.

San Francisco – Lee Westwood has 35 official wins around the globe and is coming off a five-stroke victory Saturday at the Nordea Masters in Sweden.

Entering this week's U.S. Open at The Olympic Club, the 39-year-old Englishman still rates as the best player to have never won a major.

“Majors are the only thing missing,” the world's No. 3-ranked player said Tuesday. “Maybe I'll never win one. Maybe I will. I could. I've got no answer to that. Keep working hard and trying to get myself into the position. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't.”

Westwood finished tied for seventh the last time the U.S. Open was played at Olympic, closing with rounds of 70 and 71. And he's had four top-10 U.S. Open finishes in 12 appearances, including a tie for third at last year's U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club.

He's also been a runner-up at both the Masters and the British Open, and helped lead Europe to victory in the Ryder Cup.

Coming off four rounds in the 60s last week could provide the momentum he needs to conquer Olympic's difficult layout once and for all.

When about the state of his game, however, Westwood wondered if it was a trick question, considering he just finished 19-under par and won by five strokes.

“You know, my game feels pretty good. I'm fairly confident,” he said.

He just knows he won't be shooting 19-under par as he did in Stockholm, calling Olympic perhaps the toughest test since Oakmont in 2007.

Still, Westwood is considered a favourite by many because he is such a good ball striker.

“I'm delighted that they think that,” said Westwood, who finished 2010 and part of 2011 ranked No. 1 in the world. “I can't figure out what's my kind of golf course and what isn't anymore. I think my game seems to be fairly well suited to most golf courses. But looking at this one, it really does test you tee to green. It's a good driver's golf course, if you can drive it in play a lot, then it gives you a chance to score. Not that you hit that many drivers around here, but I think any U.S. Open test is more of a tee to green examination than week in week out tournaments.”

Westwood's win last week came without his regular caddie, out with a knee injury, and with new clubs in the bag. He even changed putters.

“There's been quite a lot of changes,” he said. “That freshens it up a bit.” – Sapa-AP


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