Westwood gets right back in contention with 66 at PGA


PITTSFORD, N.Y. – The season’s most consistent major player is at it again: no heartbreak, no hangover, just solid golf when it matters the most at a Grand Slam.

Two weeks after another major letdown at Muirfield, Lee Westwood was back on the leaderboard following a first-round 66 at the PGA Championship that left him one stroke off the lead.

Westwood – who has had arguably the most consistent major season following a tie for third at the Open Championship, 15th at the U.S. Open and eighth at the Masters – said his stellar play has been a byproduct of an improved short game and 20 years of perspective.

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“Somebody was asking me the other day, does it get you down?” Westwood said. “I said, ‘No, I really don’t get stressed about golf anymore.’ In fact, I can’t remember the last time I got stressed by golf.”

Westwood said his improved putting is thanks to his work with Ian Baker-Finch, whom he spoke with last week, and some sessions this week with new swing coach Sean Foley.

Westwood said he’s had a TrackMan device since February but, “it was collecting dust.” Since he teamed with Foley last month he’s starting to understand the data and how to apply it.

“(Foley) is a genius, and he’s trying to convey it to me, although it may take a while to sink in,” Westwood smiled.