Updated: 12/06/2012 22:40 | By pa.press.net

Westwood confident ahead of US Open



Lee Westwood is heading to the US Open in a confident mood

Lee Westwood is heading to the US Open in a confident mood

Lee Westwood has flown to San Francisco with high hopes of making it three European wins in a row at the US Open.

Westwood warmed up for his tilt at following Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy by storming to a five-stroke victory at the Nordea Masters in Sweden - his third win in the event in three different decades, his 22nd on the European Tour and his 40th worldwide.

"I'll tee off on Thursday with a lot of confidence," said the 39-year-old world number three, who will play the first two rounds at the Olympic Club with Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy, the only two players ahead of him on the rankings.

Westwood has been down this road before, though, and disappointment has followed. This will be his 57th attempt to win a major.

Back in 1998 his first win in America came a week before The Masters and he was only 44th at Augusta. Two months later he arrived at Olympic Club two weeks after capturing the English Open and finished in a tie for seventh, then he won at Loch Lomond before travelling on to Birkdale for The Open and was 62nd there.

In 2000 he triumphed in Sweden and on his next start a fortnight later was 15th at the USPGA Championship, while two years ago his second PGA Tour victory came in Memphis and seven days later he was 16th in the US Open at Pebble Beach.

Westwood, who has had top-three finishes in six of the last 10 majors he has played, could do no more than he did at Bro Hof, however, and the new irons and new putter he used for the week are likely to stay the clubs of choice in California.

He said: "I think they've earned the right to stay in. You're never too sure first time in the bag, but you don't win tournaments by five shots without playing really well. I missed a few short putts, but you just have to stay patient. Sometimes you don't have to do as much as you think."

It was the Worksop golfer's first win for a long while without Billy Foster as his caddie. He is out for the summer after injuring a knee in a football kickabout and Westwood praised the calmness of Kiwi stand-in Mike "Sponge" Waite.

Fellow Englishman Ross Fisher came second a week after being penalised a shot and fined £6,000 for slow play in Wales, while joint third were Spaniard Sergio Garcia, Swede Peter Hanson and Finn Mikko Ilonen. Garcia, Hanson and Ilonen are all in the US Open as well, but Fisher failed to qualify.

0Comments
10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

latest golf news

  • Jamie Donaldson is in sparkling form in Prague

    Jamie Donaldson remained on course to secure his place in the European Ryder Cup team with a 69 in the second round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters.

  • Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy followed up his opening-day 74 with a 65 on Friday

    Rory McIlroy roared back on the second day of The Barclays with a brilliant six-under-par 65, but the world number one still trails joint leaders Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale by five shots heading into the weekend.

  • Rory McIlroy was finding it hard going in New Jersey  AP

    Rory McIlroy admitted a week of distractions had taken their toll after he suffered a nightmare start to The Barclays.

  • Kingsbarns will host the Women's British Open in 2017

    Kingsbarns has been announced as the venue for the 2017 Ricoh Women's British Open.

  • Jamie Donaldson enjoyed a good start in Prague

    Jamie Donaldson moved a step closer to making the European Ryder Cup team with a sparkling 66 in the first round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters.

  • Jamie Donaldson currently holds a Ryder Cup spot

    Jamie Donaldson goes into the D+D REAL Czech Masters in Prague this week hoping he can solidify his position in the European Ryder Cup team for Gleneagles in September.

  • Phil Mickelson is full of confidence heading to New Jersey

    Phil Mickelson admits Rory McIlroy will be difficult to beat heading into the FedEx Cup play-offs in New Jersey this week.

  • Tiger Woods says he will not pick up a golf club for a month as he recovers from injury

    Tiger Woods has revealed he pulled out of the Ryder Cup because he did not feel he could have won a point for the United States.

  • Steve Stricker will not be playing at the Ryder Cup

    Steve Stricker's slim chance of making the United States Ryder Cup team is gone after the 47-year-old confirmed he will not play again until December due to injury.

  • Inbee Park captured her fifth major crown on Sunday

    Inbee Park defended the Wegmans LPGA Championship - her fifth major title - in dramatic style on Sunday with a play-off victory over Brittany Lincicome in Pittsford, New York.

  • Colombia's Camilo Villegas won in North Carolina

    Camilo Villegas held on to claim victory at the Wyndham Championship by one shot on Sunday night following a late challenge by Freddie Jacobson.

  • Marc Warren claimed an overdue win in Denmark

    Scotland's Marc Warren ruled himself out of the reckoning for a Ryder Cup wild card despite claiming his first European Tour title for seven years at the inaugural Made in Denmark event on Sunday.

  • Nick Watney leads in North Carolina  AP

    Nick Watney birdied the last hole to take a one-shot lead heading into the last round of the Wyndham Championship.

  • Kevin Sutherland won his only PGA Tour title in 2002 at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship

    Kevin Sutherland made history on the Champions Tour on Saturday by becoming the first person to card a sub-60 round, with a magical 59 seeing him storm to the top of the Dick's Sporting Goods Open leaderboard.

  • Steve Stricker could still play at Gleneagles

    United States captain Tom Watson has confirmed that Steve Stricker is being considered for a Ryder Cup wild card, despite already being chosen as a vice-captain.