Westy: Don’t write off Tiger Woods
Lee Westwood has warned that Tiger Woods should not be written off after deposing the American as world number one.
Lee Westwood insists Tiger Woods should not be written off after deposing the American as world number one.
Westwood was today confirmed as Europe’s first number one since Nick Faldo in 1994 after Martin Kaymer failed to produce the top-two finish he needed in the Andalucia Masters to claim top spot himself.
But Woods, Kaymer and Phil Mickelson could all make Westwood’s reign at the top a matter of days rather than weeks at this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, where all four players are in action.
And Westwood knows it would be foolish to write off 14-time major champion Woods, who has struggled badly ever since the shock revelations about his secret life of extramarital affairs which erupted in November last year forced him to take a long break from the game.
“I would not write Tiger off as quickly as that,” Westwood said. “He has gone away and come back before.
“He will be there or thereabouts. If anyone can put a run together, it’s so close, they could take the number one spot.
“But it’s taken me a long time to reach world number one, I’m not going to worry about who I am going to lose it to.
“This week is going to be very exciting for golf, with four people having a chance to get to number one, but I like those kind of rivalries.”
Westwood’s achievement is all the more remarkable given the calf injury which has hampered his season, but the 37-year-old was in confident mood as he headed to Shanghai this afternoon.
“It feels as good as it has for three or four months,” Westwood added. “It’s not quite right, but it’s nearly there.
“I have not played a lot so I’m going to be very rusty but I’m not using that as an excuse.
“I’ve been hitting balls and hitting it well and I’m looking forward to getting out to China. Being world number one will give me that extra urge, if I needed it.
“It’s a great honour and a big responsibility. It certainly sounds and feels good right now.
“When you are growing up and people say what do you want to achieve, everyone says I want to be the best in the world. Right at this moment I can show people the world rankings and say I am the best on the planet.”
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