Lee Westwood bounces back after bad start

MARC LAMPORT-STOKES
Last updated 08:27 12/04/2013

Relevant offers

Golf

Lydia Ko to star at Royal Melbourne Australian Open 103-year-old sets record for oldest golfer to make a hole-in-one McIlroy named European Tour's Golfer of Year 'Ko-mania' among women's golf top stories of 2014 Westwood beats Kaymer and Fraser to Thailand title Rising golf talent looks to impress in the US Review into Canterbury men's team selection welcomed Free golf memberships to encourage girls to play World No 1 Rory McIlroy wants to speed golf up Michael Hendry's challenge fails as Greg Chalmers wins Australian PGA

Damage limitation is a prerequisite in major championships and Lee Westwood was a happy man after drawing on past experience to rebound from an early double-bogey in the Masters opening round on Thursday.

The 39-year-old Englishman ran up an ugly six at the par-four first after hitting a tree with his second shot but immediately bounced back with a birdie at the second before ending the day with a two-under-par 70.

"It's a good first round," Westwood told reporters after adding four more birdies, along with a bogey at the 17th, to finish four strokes behind early leader Marc Leishman of Australia at Augusta National. "I played solidly.

"It wasn't the ideal start, but I did manage a double-bogey in the U.S. Open last year, that sprang to mind, and I fought my way back to have a chance. So there was no panic, really."

Westwood, widely viewed as the best player of his generation yet to win a major, tied for 10th in last year's U.S. Open at the Olympic Club outside San Francisco.

"It was nice to make a birdie at the second and get one back there early," the world number 13 said. "I played the par-fives well ... around this golf course, any time anybody's done well here they have played the par-fives well."

Westwood, who has recorded 14 top-10 finishes in golf's blue riband events, was relieved to come away with a two-putt birdie at the par-five 13th where the heavily sloped green ran fast and firm.

"The longer I looked at that putt the worse it got, really," he said of his long-range first putt. "When I hit it off, I knew it was going to be a tricky one.

"I got up there and I could see putting it off the back, I could see putting it in Rae's Creek, I mean all sorts of things.

"I ended up leaving it about 16, 17 feet short, but made that one. I putted nicely today."

Westwood, who has recorded three top-sixes at the Masters, gave himself a timely boost for the Masters when he tied for 10th at last month's Houston Open, having battled to a share of 63rd in his previous start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"I hit a lot of good shots at Bay Hill, but made three triple-bogeys, one each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which obviously you can't afford to do," he said.

"That was unfortunate. But I feel comfortable around this golf course, so I can plot my way around it," added Westwood, who has long been regarded by his peers as one of the best ball-strikers in the game. 

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content