Westwood returns to Torrey after '08 U.S. Open miss


SAN DIEGO – It’s been nearly six years since Lee Westwood last walked off a green at Torrey Pines, but the Englishman admitted Tuesday that he still thinks about his near-miss here at the 2008 U.S. Open.

“Obviously I played well all week, but it felt like it was one that got away,” said Westwood, who finished alone in third place in 2008, one shot out of a playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate.

The former world No. 1 was in contention throughout the final round six years ago, but while Woods was able to birdie the 72nd hole to force a Monday playoff, Westwood came up just short. Similarly, the 40-year-old now returns to Southern California after a 2013 campaign in which he contended often but failed to record a victory.

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“Last year was pretty average,” admitted Westwood. “I gave myself a few chances to win tournaments, most notably the Open Championship (T-3) and probably at Quail Hollow, the Wells Fargo (T-4). I played consistently well, but not good enough really.”

Now residing in South Florida full-time, Westwood decided to tweak his early-season schedule for 2014 in an effort to reduce his overall travel, a decision that has brought him to the Farmers Insurance Open for the first time since 2004.

“Normally I would play in the Middle East on the European Tour, but last year I felt pretty tired so I decided I would cut back on the jetlag a little bit and not do the early Middle East swing,” added Westwood, who will also make his first career start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open next week. “This is obviously a tournament I haven’t played for a long time, and I’ve been looking forward to it.”