Westwood targets Dubai glory

Having come close several times, Lee Westwood will be hoping to go one better and win the Dubai Desert Classic later this month.

Westwood came within a 20-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of winning the tournament in 2012, but ultimately had to settle for second place – just as he did in 1999 and 2010.

The 41-year-old will return to the Emirates Golf Club fresh off a victory at the Thailand Golf Championship in December, and is in a confident mood as he prepares to take on the likes of fellow Ryder Cup stars Henrik Stenson and Stephen Gallacher.

“I have always enjoyed playing in this tournament. It’s a big event that attracts some of the world’s leading players each year. Hopefully, I will be able to get the job done this time,” Westwood told europeantour.com.

“I know the (Majlis) course well, and it’s a good golf course. They set it up great. I know my game is good enough to win when I play well enough. That’s what I try to do. After that it’s out of your hands. All I can do is keep getting into contention.”

Westwood doesn’t have any special plans for Dubai, but hopes to do more of the same that saw him finish the 2014 season so strongly.

“You have to be at your best if you aim to succeed against a deeply talented field. The plan is the same – just to go out there and enjoy it,” he said.

“If you look at the tournament’s roll of honour, it includes so many great names and that’s a tribute to the growing profile of the event.”

Tournament organisers are also pleased to have the Englishman in attendance.

“Lee is a wonderful guy in every way and is a great ambassador of golf,” said Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in Dubai.

“He has been competing regularly in our tournament since 1994 and that amply reflects on the bonds we share which is greater than just friendship.

“His presence brings special energy to any tournament. We look forward to welcoming Lee and wish him the very best.”