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Year of change for Lee Westwood

December 18, 2013

This has been a season of big change for Lee Westwood, and his debut last week in the Shark Shootout was an example.

He typically is on the other side of the world this time of the year, having won the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa in 2011 and 2012, and the Thailand Golf Championship two years ago. But this marks one year since Westwood moved his family from England to Florida to take it easy on the jet lag and allow for more practice in warm weather.

He ended the year without a win anywhere in the world.

Westwood, a two-time Order of Merit winner on the European Tour, attributed his results to change, though that entails more than location. He also began working with Sean Foley. He had a new caddie for most of the year until reuniting this month with Billy Foster.

Asked what held him back this year, Westwood chalked it up to the ''lack of continuity.''

''So many changes, really,'' he said as he headed into the final month of his season. ''It's impossible to quantify the effect that has. Starting with a new coach, changing tours, changing caddies the end of last year, all of it has an effect.''

He also said there were struggles with consistency in his swing. Westwood had a close call at Quail Hollow, and he had the lead going into the final round of the British Open, which was won by Phil Mickelson more than anyone lost it.

''I haven't been settled in a swing all year,'' Westwood said. ''When you're a professional, you can have good results without hitting it well. I haven't had a week where I hit it properly. I didn't even hit it well in the Open. I just know how to get around and I putted well.''

Westwood turned 40 this year, and while he dropped to No. 25 in the world after starting at No. 7, he believes that will turn. More changes are planned for 2014, but only as it relates to his travel schedule. Instead of starting in Middle East, he doesn't expect to play regular European Tour events until May.

He is thinking of playing Torrey Pines, the Phoenix Open and Riviera on the West Coast swing.






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