GOLF : Lee Westwood would have celebrated becoming European Tour number one again well into the early hours no matter how he did it.
Lee Westwood would have celebrated becoming European Tour number one again well into the early hours no matter how he did it.
But to produce a performance he rated the best of his career made the party all the sweeter in Dubai on Sunday night. Westwood was fourth in the world early in 2001. A year later he had crashed outside the top 250, was having to sit out majors and he admits thoughts of giving up the game crossed his mind.
Now he is back to number four, has twice missed out on a first major title by a shot and believes the best could yet be to come, saying: “To drop completely into obscurity, I suppose, and come back from it and crown it all by winning this obviously means a lot.”
He had promised to reveal some secrets of his performance if he won, but smiled and stated: “The secret was that there was no secret.
“It was making everybody else think I had a secret when I didn’t really.
“The big turnaround in confidence was catching Billy (his caddie Billy Foster) at the beach party on Tuesday.
“He’d probably just had enough Heineken to tell me what he really thought. He said I’d been paying too much attention to the other people around me.
“He said ‘you’ve been out here 16 years – that’s longer than all three of them put together (Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer and Ross Fisher were the only players left in the race to be number one) and you’ve won 30 times, which is more than them put together’.
“It’s a terrible word to use because I hate it, but he said ‘you’ve got to bully them’. That’s why I’ve been confident all week.”