Victor Chandler British Masters
Victor Chandler British Masters
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Westwood has record book in sights

Lee Westwood will be aiming to join Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo in the European Tour record books when he competes in the British Masters this week.

A fourth successive victory in Europe is the target for the 26-year-old Englishman, one which only Ballesteros, who has done it twice, and Faldo, the last to achieve it in 1989, have hit in the past.

After his third in succession in the European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland, on Sunday, Westwood's confidence is sky high as he bids to join the two players who between them have won 11 major titles during their now fading careers.

"It would mean an awful lot to follow Nick and Seve into the books, arguably the two best golfers ever to come out of Europe. You don't get many chances and it's best to take them when they're there," he said on the eve of the event on Wednesday.

"This is a big tournament and winning it would help me in the Order of Merit and give me confidence going into the Ryder Cup -- not that I'm low in confidence," added Westwood who is ranked fifth in the world.

Westwood's victories in Crans-sur-Sierre and the Dutch and European Opens have shown he is now fully fit following the shoulder injury he sustained after the U.S. Masters in April. It affected him for nearly two months and the Dutch title late in July was his first victory of the year.

Standing in his way this week as the British Masters returns to its former venue of the Duke's Course at Woburn after a five-year gap is the considerable form of Colin Montgomerie.

He has won five times this season and leads Westwood by £323,725 in his pursuit of a seventh Order of Merit title.

Montgomerie said on Wednesday that after a week at home with his family he felt "fresh and raring to go again".

"We may be the best two in Europe right now but I don't see it as a rivalry," Westwood said. "Obviously, if another player is playing well who is your main contender it spurs you on to play better. You've got to try to stay in touch and at this level that means winning tournaments.

This will be Westwood's last tournament before the Ryder Cup in two weeks and he insisted his mind was firmly fixed on the immediate task and not yet on the clash with the Americans at Brookline near Boston.

"I'm not thinking Ryder Cup yet. I'm thinking about this week and winning this week," he said.

 

Reuters


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