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Golf News: - Posted 29th April 1998

Westwood changes targets for 1998

Milan, Italy  - Lee Westwood, now ranked 13 in the world, has improved so much this year that his targets for 1998 have changed.

Westwood's main goal at the start of the year was to take over from Colin Montgomerie as the European number one.

But now the 25-year-old Worksop golfer does not think it would be so important.

After winning the Freeport McDermott Classic in New Orleans during a four-week jaunt in the United States, Westwood is playing in the Italian Open at Castelconturbia, near Milan, this week and looking forward to the change.

But, as he says: "I'm not sure how realistic the Volvo Ranking is, in view of the fact that I'm playing on both sides of the Atlantic.

"I don't feel top spot in Europe is a priority any longer because it's becoming more of a world tour and next year even more so.

"The Order of Merit is less important than titles for me.

"Of course I'd like to win my first major but, having already won in America, I'd now like to win an European event this year.

"To win on both sides of the Atlantic in one season is a good achievement.

"I'd also like to be in the World Match-Play and maybe the Million Dollar in South Africa.

" And perhaps have another victory in Japan."

Westwood, a fervent Nottingham Forest fan, received a fax from the whole Forest team and manager Dave Bassett when he won in New Orleans and last Sunday was invited into the players' dressing room when they clinched promotion by beating Reading.

"They didn't play great but got the goal that mattered," he said.

"I have to admit it was a great buzz being in the dressing room afterwards, almost as good as winning in New Orleans."

Westwood, currently 17th in the Volvo Ranking after playing in only four European Tour events this year, starts favourite this week.

But he will have strong opposition from close friend Darren Clarke, Jose-Maria Olazabal, second in the European money list, and Thomas Bjorn, who has already won twice this year, including last week's Spanish Open.