Westy driven by near miss

Lee Westwood has vowed to turn his Open Championship disappointment into a positive for the rest of the season.

Lee Westwood has vowed to turn his Open Championship disappointment into a positive for the rest of the season.
World number 13 Westwood, 36, saw a maiden major victory at Turnberry escape his grasp last month when he bogeyed the final hole to miss out on a play-off with Stewart Cink and Tom Watson having led by two shots with nine to play.
As he prepared to return to action for the first time since Turnberry in today’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Ohio, Westwood insisted he had put the disappointment behind him and was looking to build on the experience both this week and next at the US PGA Championship at Hazeltine National in Minnesota.
“Simply it’s the most important tournament in the world to me, so, you know, having felt like I should have won that event, I was obviously for a couple of days in the situation where I was sort of second-guessing myself and thinking, ‘what if I would have done this and what if I would have done this’,” Westwood said.
“It was a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ for a couple of days and a sleepless night on the Sunday night afterwards.
“But once you get past that stage, I have to use it as a positive.
“I came very close to winning what for me is the biggest tournament, the most important tournament in the world. I have to take all that into a positive and take the confidence I can draw from that for the rest of the season and firstly these two weeks.”
Westwood also had to settle for third at last year’s US Open at Torrey Pines as Tiger Woods went on to defeat Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole play-off, and on Thursday he will tee off at the scene of another near miss from last year, when he tied for second with Australia’s Stuart Appleby, a shot behind Vijay Singh of Fiji.
“I’ve always enjoyed coming here right from the first time I played here,” Westwood said. “I’ve always thought it was a golf course that suited me.
“I played well here last year, got quite close, played pretty nicely all week, and I’m happy to be back in pretty good form. I’m looking forward to these next couple of weeks.
“Winning a World Golf Championship would mean an awful lot. I’ve never won one. I’ve finished second a couple of times and, when you look at it, they’re just a slight tier down from the majors.
“That’s how I think the players perceive them. You want to win one of the four majors first, and then the World Golf Championships would be just a slight step down from that.
“They’re massive tournaments and you have the best fields mostly. You’re pretty much guaranteed the top 50 in the world are here. And they’re generally played around great golf courses.
“They obviously mean a lot. You don’t see many people skipping them anyway.”