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Westwood: Need to spend more time on long game

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Fresh off his eighth top-3 in a major since 2008, Lee Westwood says it is his long game – not his oft-maligned short game – that needs the most attention heading into the PGA Championship.

Westwood, who tied for third at the British Open after holding a two-shot lead after 54 holes, was uncharacteristically sloppy with his longer clubs at Muirfield, ranking 67th in fairways hit (53.57 percent) and 69th in greens in regulation (56.94). Westwood failed to hit a fairway on his opening nine Sunday as he tumbled out of the lead en route to a 75. 

Keeping him in contention all week, however, was his putting, which has long been his greatest weakness. He ranked first in the field with 33 one-putt greens, just weeks after receiving a few tips from Ian Baker-Finch.

“I struggled with my technique a little bit all last week,” Westwood told Sky Sports on Tuesday. “I haven’t been working on my long game that much so I need to work on that.”

Westwood recently spent time in South Florida with swing coach Sean Foley, who also works with Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Hunter Mahan, among others. They worked mainly on the Englishman’s posture and ball position.

“I’ve only done five hours of work with him, so to actually finish third in a major championship after doing so little work is a bonus,” he told Sky Sports. “I’m hoping to work with him a bit more in the future. He had a little look at me on the range at Muirfield last week. We’re really just starting to get to know each other and he’s just starting to learn about my swing.”

Westwood is scheduled to play next week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational before heading to Oak Hill for the PGA.