Relaxed approach is paying dividends at Abu Dhabi Championship, admits fourth placed Lee Westwood

Relaxed approach is paying dividends at Abu Dhabi Championship, admits fourth placed Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood is adamant his recent resurgence is down to playing “not bothered golf”, but he does harbour at least one burning ambition for the near future. The Englishman yearns to qualify for the Masters in April because it is his son’s 18th birthday and he has promised Sam he can caddie at the season’s first major.

Certainly, the 45-year-old’s form would suggest he can leap with ease into the world’s top 50 from 63rd in the rankings by the March 31 cut-off point.

Westwood, the former world No 1, on Thursday gave further notice that his victory at Sun City in November – his first in three-and-a-half years – was anything but a fluke as he shot a second-round 68 in the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship to move to 10-under and within two of halfway leader Shane Lowry. 

If Westwood can add a 44th title to his glittering collection here on Saturday, he would be all but guaranteed his 19th start at Augusta, the major where he has finished runner-up twice.

“Sam would like that, as it’s his big birthday that week and I told him that if I get in he can carry the bag,” Westwood said. “It would be appropriate in a way as Sam has been dragging me out on to the course when I wouldn’t have gone otherwise. Also helping is me giving him lessons.

“He has watched me swinging the club all his life , so he has all the same faults. So it’s actually like giving myself a lesson. I‘m talking through what he ought to be doing and it is sticking in my head. For instance, what I’m working on this week is what I told Sam to work on two weeks ago when we were on holiday in Dubai. Just little swing tips that I had forgotten.”

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