No majors, no problem: Westwood confident heading to Augusta

By Associated PressApril 3, 2012, 5:11 pm

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Lee Westwood is as ready as ever to end his chase for a major championship at the Masters this week.

Westwood, ranked third in the world, has come close to ending the drought over the past four seasons—including a second-place finish to Phil Mickelson at Augusta National in 2010.

Westwood said he feels an extra shot of confidence whenever he arrives at the Masters and this year’s no different.

“I feel pretty confident,” he said Tuesday. “Game feels in good shape.”

Westwood ended two weeks off at the Houston Open, finishing 21st in his last tune up before the Masters.

Westwood’s been a regular on major leaderboards the past few seasons. He was third last year at the U.S. Open and also finished second at the 2010 British Open after his runner-up showing at the Masters.

He’s also tied for third at the 2009 British Open and PGA Championship and took third at the 2008 U.S. Open.

Westwood is glad to be in contention so often. Still, there’s continuing disappointment that he hasn’t been the one hoisting the trophy and hearing the cheers at the end.

“It’s quite frustrating at a time when you keep coming close,” Westwood said.

Not that Westwood’s panicking over lost chances.

He believes the shelf life for top-level golfers has increased through exercise and fitness. Look at what Darren Clarke accomplished last season, Westwood says, in winning the British Open for his first major at age 42.

“It’s no surprise that the likes of Steve Stricker, Darren, Vijay (Singh) a few years back; Kenny Perry came close here,” Westwood said. “I see it continuing. We are almost more of athletes now than we used to be.”

Westwood likes the way he’s playing, even if he hasn’t played all that often in the season’s early months. He finished fourth at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and fourth at the Honda Classic.

Westwood also tied for second on the European Tour’s Dubai Desert event.

“I have started this season better than I do most seasons with some good results this year,” he said. “Had a couple of chances to win.”

It usually seems like Westwood’s in the mix at Augusta National. He had a pair of 11ths in 2008 and 2011 to go along with his second in 2010. Westwood has the distance to handle the 7,435-yard layout and the short game to give himself a chance on the greens.

“I always felt like I could do it here,” Westwood said. “I always felt like the golf course suits my game. But when you come close like that, it gives you an extra boost of confidence out there.”

Westwood said he returns to the course with an open mind, prepared to deal with the subtle year-to-year changes at Augusta National. He said the 8th and 16th greens have been changed to accommodate new pins.

“Even standing there and just staring at it, you can’t see the obvious change,” Westwood said. “So it’s not a case of relearning the greens because every putt you have out there is a new challenge.”

Westwood’s not the only one seeking a major breakthrough at Augusta.

World No. 1 Luke Donald has had three top-10 finishes in seven Masters appearances and comes in off a victory at the Transitions Championship last month.

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy is seeking redemption from his final round meltdown here that cost him the Masters title a year ago. He also enters with a recent victory in the Honda Classic.

And, of course, there’s four-time Masters winner Tiger Woods, who is looking to end a four-year dry spell at the majors after collecting his first PGA Tour victory in three seasons at the Arnold Palmer Invitational two weeks back.

“I’m excited to play in the Masters and I’m excited just to come here. I’m not so excited that everybody is playing well, obviously,” Westwood said with a smile. “I wish that everybody was playing poorly.”

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm