Westwood takes solace from Masters spot

Updated: 23/05/2022

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It was another near miss for Lee Westwood at this year’s Open Championship but he can take solace from the fact his performance earned him a spot at the 2020 Masters.

The Englishman came into Sunday’s final round at Portrush still harbouring hopes of winning a first major title, but the form of eventual champion Shane Lowry meant he never really got close enough to mount a serious challenge (Lowry 100/1 Masters Outright).

Westwood had to settle for a share of fourth – the fifth time he has claimed a top-four finish at the Open – but, despite being disappointed at missing out on major glory, he was delighted his performance was good enough to earn him a spot at Augusta next year.

“It’s brilliant,” said Westwood. “Augusta is a very special place. I’ve played great there in the past and had a chance to win it. It is another course like this that I don’t strictly think is a bomber’s paradise, although I think it helps.

“If you’ve played it a lot and you play it well, there are a lot of repeat winners. It will be lovely to go back.”

The 46-year-old has missed out on playing at the Masters in each of the last two years but has made the cut on his last 11 visits to the iconic venue, including when he finished runner up to Phil Mickelson in 2010 and Danny Willett six years later.

Westwood will turn 47 less than two weeks after next year’s Masters finishes, but the former world number one is convinced he can still challenge for major glory on a regular basis.

“The legs started to ache a bit but I’m still pretty fit and don’t feel 46,” he added. “I don’t feel like my game is dropping off and I feel like I’m still capable of winning tournaments.”

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