Only last week during the Benson and Hedges International Open, Lee Westwood was at the bottom of his game. There was no feel, no tempo and the anger built inside the man who so much of is expected.
But in the space of just a few days, Westwood found his feel, his game, his tempo and rediscovered his passion for the game of golf and took on the Tiger…beat him…and beat him well.
The Worksop player captured his tenth title on the European Tour, the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open TPC of Europe at Gut Kaden, Hamburg. A final round 64 was too hot for Tiger Woods, third round leader, and the chasing pack including Westwood's stable-mate Darren Clarke, Colin Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam.
“I can’t remember any better rounds, not under pressure” said Westwood. “It was probably better than the 61 I shot here two years ago in the third round because the circumstances were different. I was pleased to birdie the first three holes and get my nose in front because I’m quite difficult to beat when I get my nose in front.”
The 27 year old Englishman was two back form Woods at the start of the day. But with some uncharacteristic mistakes from the World number One, dumping his ball into the water on the 11th for a double bogey six, while both Westwood and Canonica both birdied the hole to effectively forge three shots ahead of Woods.
Woods’ third 70 of the tournament for 277 secured a share of third place, after he had appeared on course to make a successful defence of the title he won at St.Leon Rot twelve months earlier. He was edged out of the runner-up position by Canonica, who compiled a brave 67 in the face of Westwood’s birdie barrage to win £179,361and retain his playing rights for 2001.