Rory blundered mentally – Westy
Lee Westwood believes Rory McIlroy blundered badly in the final week of their European money list battle.
Lee Westwood believes Rory McIlroy blundered badly in the final week of their European money list battle in Dubai.
The mistake was not in any of the shots the 20-year-old played, but what he said after they had gone head-to-head in the first round at the deciding Dubai World Championship.
McIlroy stated publicly that he was glad the two of them were not paired in the second round because then he could concentrate on his own game more.
“It was obviously a massive feather in my cap,” said Westwood, who had outscored his rival by two on the day and went on to win by six to regain the Order of Merit crown he last held in 2000.
“There’s nothing worse to say than that if you’re Rory – and he will learn from that – and there’s nothing better for me than a competitor to say they are glad they are not playing with me.
“I read it in the press. I wouldn’t have said it, but I’ve been on Tour 16 years and he’s been on Tour three.
“Sometimes what you say off the golf course and the mind games you play are as important as the pressure you can put on people on the course.”
Westwood produced a stunning 23-under-par display to take the £744,180 tournament first prize and £893,016 money list bonus, a European Tour record £1,637,196 in total for one week’s work.
He had promised to reveal some secrets of his performance if he won, but smiled and stated: “The secret was that there was no secret.
“It was making everybody else think I had a secret when I didn’t really.
“The big turnaround in confidence was catching Billy (his caddie Billy Foster) at the beach party on Tuesday.
“He’d probably just had enough Heineken to tell me what he really thought. He said I’d been paying too much attention to the other people around me.
“He said ‘You’ve been out here 16 years, that’s longer than all three of them put together (McIlroy, Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher were the only players left in the race to be number one) and you’ve won 30 times, which is more than them put together’.
“It’s a terrible word to use because I hate it, but he said ‘You’ve got to bully them’. That’s why I’ve been confident all week.”
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