Lee Westwood Profile
|Born||Apr 24, 1973|
|Birthplace||Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England|
While Major glory continues to elude him, Lee Westwood showed what a force he remains by winning the European Tour's Race to Dubai in 2020.
Lee Westwood is one of the few professional golfers to have won tournaments in four different decades and on five different continents.
Westwood won the European Tour Order of Merit in 2000, the Race to Dubai in 2009 and 2020, and was named Golfer of the Year in 1998, 2000, 2009 and 2020.
He has come close to winning a Major without sealing the deal, earning second place twice at The Masters and once at the British Open.
Westwood claimed his first European Tour victory in 1996 at the Volvo Scandinavian Masters and would go on to record wins in each of the next four seasons between 1997 and 2000.
In 2001, he took an extended break from the Tour after the birth of his son and also used the downtime to remodel his swing.
Westwood credits his longevity in the game to his unique approach to fitness and the strong base of an active childhood. The Englishman uses targeted training to strengthen potential weak areas for golfers.
He has turned out for Europe in 10 Ryder Cups and no other European player has been on more winning teams (seven).
The veteran made his debut at Valderrama in 1997 and had accumulated 23 points up to his latest appearance in 2016.
Westwood was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2011.
Westwood was a talented sportsman at school, playing rugby, cricket and football, but took up golf relatively late.
He was 13 when his grandparents gifted him a set of clubs and his father took up the game with him to encourage the young Westwood.
Westwood proved to have a flair for golf and, coupled with an incredible work ethic, this drove him to great junior and amateur successes.
In 1988, he was crowned junior champion of Nottinghamshire and three years later, he won the Peter McEvoy Trophy, establishing himself as one of England's finest young amateurs.
The Lagonda Trophy followed in 1992, and in 1993 he won the coveted British Youths Open Amateur Championship.
Westwood turned professional in 1993 and earned a place on the European Tour the following year, finishing 43rd on the Order of Merit in his debut term.
At the 1995 British Open, Westwood made his debut at a Major, making the cut before stumbling to T96 after a difficult weekend in St Andrews.
Westwood won seven tournaments worldwide in 2000 to claim the European Tour Order of Merit.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Westwood was a regular winner on the European Tour, but while he managed five top-10 finishes in his first 29 Major starts, he was unable to mount a serious challenge in golf's prestigious quartet of Grand Slam events.
That changed in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines where he battled gamely to finish third.
In 2009, he ended a mini-slump with victory at the Portugal Masters. He would cap the year with another triumph at the season-ending Dubai World Championship to clinch the Race to Dubai title and be named Golfer of the Year by the European Tour for the third time.
He earned two third-place finishes at Majors in 2009, firstly in the British Open at Turnberry and then in the PGA Championship at Hazeltine.
Topping the world
At the St. Jude Classic in July 2010, Westwood claimed just his second PGA Tour victory. This allowed him to close the gap in the rankings between himself and the two leading players in the world at the time - Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods.
He also had an excellent year in the 2010 Majors, finishing runner-up at both The Masters (by three) and the British Open (by seven to Louis Oosthuizen).
Westwood sustained a calf injury in mid-October 2010 and was out of action for three weeks, but other results ensured that on 31 October, he knocked Woods off the world number one spot after 281 weeks of being there.
In 2011, Westwood chose to focus his efforts on the European Tour, losing a playoff at the BMW PGA Championship to compatriot Luke Donald. He earned another third place at that year's US Open.
The 2011 Thailand Golf Championship saw him card a career-low round of 60 on his way to winning the Asian Tour event.
Westwood rejoined the PGA Tour for the 2012 season to ensure he was prepared for the Ryder Cup, but he failed to add to his two wins in the United States. His only tournament triumph that year came at the Nordea Masters.
He finished in the top 10 at The Masters for three successive seasons from 2012 to 2014 and added second place at Augusta in 2016.
With his win at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January 2020, Westwood achieved the feat of having won on the European Tour in four different decades. He went on to win European Tour Golfer of the Year for the fourth time later that year.
Near-misses in Majors
Westwood's first real brush with a Major win came in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines
He finished on even-par over four rounds and just a shot shy of the playoff contested by Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate.
The 2009 British Open definitely belonged in the 'one that got away' category. Westwood eagled the 7th at Turnberry and held the lead for most of the final round. But he bogeyed three of the four last holes and a three-putt at the last left him one short of the playoff number.
At the 2010 Masters, Westwood achieved a career-best second-place finish in 2010.
He led by a stroke going into the final round but Phil Mickelson played a brilliant shot from the trees in round four, leaving the Englishman as runner-up.
In the 2013 British Open at Muirfield, rounds of 72-68-70 put him two clear after 54 holes but a subdued Sunday 75 meant he had to settle for tied third.
Augusta teased him again in 2016 as he got to within one shot of the lead in the final round only to lose out to compatriot Danny Willett and finish in a tie for second.
As Westwood reached his late-40s he decided to change elements of his game. He was keen to take control of his shot selection and therefore opted to let long-term caddie Billy Foster move on - instead he used girlfriend Helen Storey and sometimes his son Sam to carry his bag.
The first sign of success was triumph in the 2018 Nedbank Challenge. Just over a year later he added the 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and by the end of that year he had won yet another European Tour Race to Dubai.
Then, in early 2021, he led both the Arnold Palmer Invitational and THE PLAYERS Championship at the 54 hole stage. He played superbly in both, even in the final round, but was defeated by Bryson DeChambeau in the former and Justin Thomas in the latter.
Westwood's personal life
Westwood hails from the East Midlands market town of Worksop, although he now calls Newcastle his home.
His roots are reflected in his love of Nottingham Forest FC and he also sponsors his semi-professional hometown club Worksop Town FC.
Westwood was married to Laurae Coltart for 16 years before the couple divorced in 2015. They had two children together - a son, Samuel Bevan Westwood, and a daughter, Poppy Grace Westwood.
He started dating Helen Storey, a fitness instructor from Newcastle, in 2015 and she often caddies for him, despite admitting to knowing little about the game.
Westwood was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Nottingham Trent University in 2007.
In June 2021, Westwood married Helen Storey in Las Vegas.
Westwood's net worth
Westwood has been a touring professional for over 25 years and has an estimated net worth of close to $40million.
Ping has been his equipment sponsor for the entirety of his professional career.
Among other endorsement deals, UPS pay a premium to have their logo displayed on Westwood's shirt during competition.
He also enjoys commercial relationships with FootJoy, Peter Millar, Bioflow, Audemars Piguet, Close House Hotel and Druh Belts & Buckles.
Westwood uses Titleist balls to go with his full bag of Ping clubs.
Lee Westwood News
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