LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – They say this English gem is a ball-striker’s ballpark, the kind of place where a machine-like David Duval could cruise to his first major championship in 2001. Lee Westwood, however, is not convinced.
“People have said that the previous winners have all got a great short game,” Westwood said. “And apparently I haven't got much of a short game.”
On this the scorecard on Westwood is clear. The world’s third-ranked player has finished in the top 10 in eight of his last 11 major starts, including a tie for 10th at last month’s U.S. Open.
But then there is that short game, which Westwood bristles is good enough to become, “No. 1 in the world.”
For all the criticism of Westwood’s short game there is very little to suggest that the 39-year-old is lamenting his inability to save par.
“The thing with professional golf is you're an individual so you're lined up there for people to have a look at your game and take criticisms, and if you're at the top of the world rankings, people are going to compare different aspects of your game to other people in the top of the world rankings,” he said.
That’s not to say Westwood is happy with the status quo. He plans to fly to south Florida next week to begin the search for a new home, likely in the Jupiter area, where he plans to live for the next five years.
“I think it manifested itself at The Honda Classic. (Westwood) said, ‘I could live here,’” said Chubby Chandler, Westwood’s manager with International Sports Management.
Chandler said Westwood will probably add a few events to his PGA Tour schedule next year but will likely play a similar worldwide lineup.