U.S. Open preview: Lee Westwood
Is this finally the week that Lee Westwood brings home his first major championship? Westwood no doubt is feeling confident right now as he completed his warmup for the U.S. Open by winning the Nordea Masters by five shots on Saturday. Westwood’s final round of 3-under 69 gave him a total of 19-under 269. His 22nd European Tour victory also was his third win in the Scandinavian Masters, following wins in 1996 and 2000.
Westwood, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 3, came to Sweden carrying a new set or irons and a new putter in his bag just a week before the U.S. Open. The irons and putter will travel on with him to the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
“They are staying in the bag,” Westwood said. “I am going to take a lot of positives to San Francisco. I have played really well here this week. You don’t win by five shots not playing well.”
Westwood’s record at the U.S. Open is solid. His last four starts have consisted of two third-place finishes and a pair of top-25s; that’s the kind of track record that would lead you to believe Westwood would be a decent pick this week. Even better is the fact that he finished T-7 the last time the U.S. Open was hosted at Olympic Club in 1998.
World ranking: 3.
Official wins: 34.
U.S. Open highlight: Missing a playoff by only one shot at Torrey Pines.
U.S. Open lowlight: Faced with a 15-foot birdie putt to get into a playoff at Torrey Pines, he left it short.
WagerWeb.com odds to win U.S. Open: +1000 (second favorite)
Overview: Westwood is in a much better frame of mind this year. He is playing much better, has worked hard on his chipping (a key for the U.S. Open) and has reasonably good memories of Olympic from 1998, when he tied for seventh. At 39, his window to win a major is closing at medium speed.