In 2009, Lee Westwood made waves when he topped the European Tour's money list and was named European Tour Golfer of the Year. In 2010, he finished runner-up twice at major tournaments and overtook Tiger Woods's ranking as number one golfer in the world. Following that trend, 2011 looked to be a big year for Britain's biggest talent, but he has since dropped to third in the world. Speaking with John Huggan, Westwood aired out some of his frustrations with his play this season.
“It’s been a pretty good season, but not in comparison with the previous two. My major championship performances, for example, were generally OK this year. But I never really had a chance of victory. In 2009 and 2010 I had chances to win nearly all of them. So following that was always going to be tough."
"Away from the majors I’ve won three times this year. That’s not an unsuccessful year. But I have to acknowledge the fact that I’ve gone from number one in the world to number three. So that’s a step back even if my game is, all around, better than it was a year ago. The common theme to my putting this year was that they weren’t going in. I had a poor pace and direction to my stroke, both of which I’ve been working on with Phil Kenyon.”
Taking up PGA Tour membership for the first time since 2008, the former world No. 1 believes playing more in America will increase his chances to grab that elusive major title.
“Playing more in America can only help me get used to that style of golf. With three of the majors over there, that could be important.”
“The majors are obviously a big motivation for me. I haven’t won one yet and I would like to. They are the starting points for my schedule. Everything else has to fit in with what I think will be the best preparation for them. I’ve played in more than 50 of them so I know what to do in order not to put extra pressure on myself."
Another thing Westwood knows how to do? Dance. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until his playing days are over before you see him cut a rug on "Strictly Come Dancing" (the original BBC show that spawned "Dancing With the Stars").
“In retirement I’d love to have a go,” confirms the man from Worksop. “My Nan and Grandad used to run an old-time dance school, so I did do a bit when I was a little boy. I was even ‘highly commended’ in a couple of dances: the Lilac Waltz and the Boston Two-Step. And I’ve still got the medals to prove it.
“We’re talking 30 years ago mind. So it’s been a while since I slipped on my patent dancing shoes. I’m a bit out of practice. But I’d have a fair idea going in. Although I’m not too sure how I’d look in those tight sequined outfits. I think I’d have to lose some weight. And the fake tan? I’d have to get the hair-removing cream out first!”
Tseng wins—again Yani Tseng once again showed us that she is the most dominant force in golf right now, notching win number 12 at the Swinging Skirts Invitational in her home country of Taiwan. According to the Taipei Times, Tseng posted a final round four-under 68 in cold and rainy conditions to win the tournament by seven strokes, besting the likes of Na Yeon Choi, Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Stacy Lewis.
“I’m very satisfied and happy,” Tseng said after winning the title. “I played steadily and I felt really great.”
“Seeing so many people to cheer for me in such poor weather really touched me. The fans’ support means a lot to me, pushing me forward.”
To express her gratitude, Tseng handed out “hot hands” to fans during the tournament’s final two days to help them keep their hands warm.
Yani’s win pushes her winnings this year to more than $3.4 million, though she said she was happier with the number of wins than the prize money she earned. Tweet of the Day