England's Lee Westwood plays his shot from the 7th tee during the final round of the British Open Golf Championships at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland in July. Photo: AP Photo/Jon Super

SUN CITY – Lee Westwood was as relaxed as he should be returning as the defending champion in a Nedbank Golf Challenge he has won three times on Tuesday.

And the Englishman summed up exactly the challenge the rest of the field will face should he be in a position to make history in “Africa’s Major” at Sun City this week.

“I’ve won three Nedbank Golf Challenge titles, so if I get into contention, I’m going to know what to do because I’ve been in that situation before,” he said on Tuesday.

Westwood’s three-stroke victory at the Gary Player Country Club last year saw him become the first European golfer to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge three times, following his victories in 2010 and 2011. He also joined Ernie Els, David Frost and Nick Price as the only golfers to have won this title on three occasions.

This year, in what is also the 40th anniversary of Sun City and the Gary Player Country Club, Westwood will be looking to make history as the first golfer to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge four times.

“It’s always great to come back to Sun City. I’ve been coming here for a long time now and it’s a place I love. It’s a great resort. I obviously enjoy playing the golf course. I played well on it in the past and well last year, so it’s nice to come back and defend.”

Without a victory this year, Westwood believes this week certainly gives him an opportunity to turn what he described as an “okay year” into a great one.

“I played well in Turkey last week. I shot four good rounds and gave myself a chance of winning, and you know, hopefully I can carry that on and just keep working on what I’m working on and hopefully that will be good enough.

“I’ve played well in spells this year. There have been runs where I haven’t played so well. But you know, that’s how golf is. I’m 46-years-old now and you know, I can’t commit as much time as I used to be able to practice and things like that.

“But I’m just be trying to play my best and if I’m in there in contention on Sunday, I’ll be pleased with that.”

And as he pointed out, he’ll know exactly what to do. 

African News Agency (ANA)