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Westwood: Winning Open 'would mean everything'

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SANDWICH, England – This week in the calendar is always a big week for Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. This year the anticipation is at a whole new level.

When you’re Nos. 1 and 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking and you haven’t won a major championship, each major is the next chance to capture glory. When you’re from England, and the Open Championship is in England, it’s an opportunity to get the major monkey off your back at Royal St. George’s in front of the people who know you best.

“It’s named for St. George, I guess, so you can’t get much more English than that,” Westwood said. “It’s obviously being played in England, which only happens every now and again, and it’s the biggest championship in the world as far as I’m concerned.

“It would mean everything, really, to win this championship.”

There is plenty of time left for both Donald and Westwood to win major championships. But for Westwood, now 38, his window is much smaller than Donald’s. In fact, after the U.S. Open, Colin Montgomerie said he believes that Westwood needs to win a major in the next two years before Father Time catches up with him.

“It depends how physically able you are, and I’m obviously a finely tuned athlete that can do on well into my 40s, I think,” Westwood said laughing.  “I played with him on Sunday last week and wound him up about that.”

Westwood feels he’s in good form this week and did most of his preparation here at Royal St. George’s early last week before playing in the Scottish Open, where he shot an opening-round 65. He goes off at 9:10 a.m. ET Thursday with Steve Stricker and Charl Schwartzel.