Westwood prepares to break Major curse

Lee Westwood is confident he can slay the dragon of his Major championship jinx when he launches his British Open challenge at Royal St George’s later this week.

The 37-year-old Englishman is among the favourites to lift the famous claret jug this weekend, and can think of no better venue than Royal St George’s as he aims to end his long wait for a Major.

“It’s named after St George so you can’t get much more English than that; it’s 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,” Westwood said.

“It would mean everything to win this championship.”

Westwood’s recent championship form suggests the recently deposed former world number one represents a decent bet at Sandwich.

In his last 13 Majors, Westwood has posted no fewer than six top-three finishes, a run that has included a share of third place at the US Open last month following a tie for 11th at the Masters in April.

Gearing up
Westwood, who has fond memories of Royal St George’s, where he won as an amateur in 1992, is comfortable with his form heading into the Open.

“My form is right where I’d like it to be. I’ve been playing well just recently and had a good stretch of results,” he said.

“This is a week I look forward to all year round. So I try to gear my game up for this week. I’m happy with all aspects of my game.”

A win for Westwood this week would extend a record losing streak for US golfers in Major championships.

Following Rory McIlroy’s stunning victory at the US Open in June, American golfers have not won a Major for a record five tournaments.

‘One of those things’
But Westwood is unconvinced that the US losing streak represents a fundamental shift in golf’s balance of power.

“I think it’s cyclical,” Westwood said. “We went through a period where there weren’t many European players winning major championships or from the rest of the world, and a lot of American golfers were winning Majors.

“I think it’s just one of those things. Obviously when one or two players from a certain area start winning Majors, it inspires and brings on everybody else from that area.”

“There’s nothing I can put my finger on, other than European, and the rest of the world, golf is very strong at the moment.

“There’s a lot of world class players, and that’s reflected in the world rankings.” — AFP

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Rob Woollard
Rob Woollard
Report on sport in the Americas for Agence France-Presse.

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