x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Lee Westwood eyes a major for 2011

The world No 1, who won the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa yesterday, says he is growing in confidence since leading golf's world rankings.

Lee Westwood admits that his main target for 2011 will be to capture a major title.

The world No 1 capped an excellent year by winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge yesterday where his victory margin was a massive eight strokes over a high-profile field Sun City field.

His closest challenger was the South African Tim Clark, with the likes of Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els all failing to match him or even come close.

Westwood, who took over as the top-ranked golfer from Tiger Woods at the end of October, is still searching for that elusive first major win.

He came extremely close this season, finishing second at both the Masters and The British Open, and is now desperate to end his drought.

“It’s obviously my number one target now because I’ve never won one,” said Westwood also came third at the 2008 US Open and 2009 PGA Championship.

“I’ve come very close over the last couple of years but careers are defined by major championships, so I’d obviously like to win a major championship.

“I try to focus on it, but without trying to put too much pressure on myself.”

The 37-year-old walked away with a massive $1.25 million (Dh4.6m)) first prize from the South African event, where 12-players compete each year for the huge pay-day.

Westwood says that holding the world No 1 spot has also brought with it some additional confidence.

He continued: “There’s no doubt about it, being No 1 gives you a massive boost of confidence.

“To look at the world rankings and then to turn up at a tournament and know that as far as the world rankings are concerned, there’s nobody better there at the tournament.

“If you play your best, you should certainly contend that week, if not win it.”

Victory for the Worksop golfer yesterday was surprisingly his first taste of victory in a memorable 2010 and he celebrated the title by chipping in for birdie at the last.

And he concedes that his rise to the summit is still something he cannot believe.

He added: “It’s still something I’m trying to come to terms with. There’s expectation whenever you turn up at tournaments and you have to fulfil that.

“But since I’ve become No 1, I’ve finished second, third and first. So I think I can cope with it.”