Westwood sheds 23 pounds before Ryder Cup

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Lee Westwood during Rd. 1 of the Wales Open. (Getty)

Every player prepares differently for the Ryder Cup. Right now, there’s a good chance Matt Kuchar is honing his pingpong skills, Keegan Bradley is practicing his fist pumps in the mirror and Ian Poulter is listening to heavy metal in a dark room.

Lee Westwood

Well, the Englishman said he has lost more than 20 pounds in the past four weeks and returned to his “fighting weight.”

“I’ve been vanishing,” he told reporters after opening with a 2-over 73 Thursday at the Wales Open. “I’ve lost 23 pounds, doing double gym sessions – cardio in the morning and weights in the afternoon. I’ve been off the alcohol and been watching my diet.”

Of Paul McGinley's three captain’s picks, Westwood was the most debated, after an indifferent summer and early exit from the FedEx Cup playoffs. He wasn’t scheduled to play between The Barclays and next week’s matches, but he opted to add the Wales Open for the first time in a decade. 

At the request of McGinley, Westwood was paired for the first two rounds with Jamie Donaldson, while Thomas Bjorn played alongside Stephen Gallacher. That’s either a clue as to the early pairings for Gleneagles, or McGinley’s mind games have already begun.   

“I like to play the week before an important event and this course is similar to Gleneagles,” Westwood said of Celtic Manor, which hosted the Ryder Cup in 2010. “For it coincidentally to be where we won the last Ryder Cup on European soil is a great little tie-in and gives you a good feeling mentally.”