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Westwood eager to land first major

European Open champion Lee Westwood has targeted the one piece of silverware so far absent from his burgeoning trophy cabinet - a major title.

Westwood's victory at the K Club, where he came from seven shots behind Darren Clarke on the final day, was his third of the season and second in Europe in the space of just eight days.

The 26-year-old Worksop golfer has already captured 16 titles worldwide in three years and is now focusing on claiming a maiden major crown, beginning with this month's USPGA at Medinah.

"It's the only thing missing now," said Westwood, who moved to second in the Order of Merit behind Colin Montgomerie after claiming the £226,000 first prize on Monday with his three shot win over Clarke and Australian Peter O'Malley.

"Hopefully I can keep this form going. I'm feeling very confident and I'm hitting a lot of good shots. Every week I hit it a little better.

"After my shoulder injury cleared up I had time to work on my game and it's bearing fruit. Last week was the seventh tournament on the trot and I'm the kind of player who plays better with a lot of competitive golf.

"I've had a good stretch of results finishing fifth, seventh, fifth, 18th in the Open and then 1st and 1st.

"I'm hitting quality shots when it matters. The three wood into the last on Monday wasn't a piece of cake but I started it exactly where I wanted to and drew it into the heart of the green which was not an easy shot when you're under that kind of pressure.

"That was one of my best shots all day and I feel I can play most shots in most circumstances.

"If I get myself into position in the PGA I should be feeling more comfortable than I did at the Masters when I got into that position."

On that occasion at Augusta in April, Westwood found himself joint-leader approaching the back nine before fading over the closing stretch as Jose Maria Olazabal went on to win his second green jacket.

But with confidence soaring following back to back wins, he is confident he will be better able to handle the pressure should he have another chance at Medinah with he and Clarke spurring each other on to greater heights.

"We're good friends but it's a healthy rivalry," added Westwood, who will practice with Clarke at Ryder Cup venue Brookline on Sunday. "That's why we're improving so quickly.

"It's no coincidence that Darren played so well here the week after I won in Holland or that I played well after he won the English Open.

"We seem to feed off each other and we can only improve. We both realise that we're going to be in this position a lot more in the future, one week I'm going to win and one week he'll win."

The pair are also hoping to use their friendly rivalry to Europe's benefit by partnering each other when Mark James' side defends the Ryder Cup trophy in Boston in September.

"Darren and I have been ribbing each other, calling each other 'partner' for a few weeks now," Westwood joked.

"When I wasn't playing well he was looking round for another partner and then he didn't play so well I said Sergio Garcia's playing well, he might want to partner me.

"But I think deep down we want to partner each other and hopefully Mark James will do that and hopefully we'll be a formidable combination.

"We certainly make enough birdies on a fourball. We seem to feed off each other, although nothing's been discussed officially."

The one stumbling block is that James may well split the duo and use them to partner rookies in the side, a fact Westwood recognised.

"Yeah, with us being veterans of one Ryder Cup!" he added.

"I don't want to influence Mark if he's got his own ideas, I'm happy to go along with that but I'd like to play with Darren."