Comfortable

By Neil Connolly, in Sport, Golf · 19-03-2021 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

There really is a lot to talk about this week, and it all surrounds Lee Westwood because if it hasn’t escaped you, he’s been doing rather well recently.

So much so that the rest of the golfing world are scratching their heads and wondering how he’s doing it. He seems to have broken from all the traditions of the game and found a rich vein of form that no one could have foreseen. And yet the answer is very simple, he’s happy.

Everyone is saying it, he appears to be walking down the fairways without a care in the world. He appears to have put golf completely in the correct perspective, it is a game after all.

Let’s just examine what he has accomplished in the last couple of months; currently Race to Dubai champion, has just entered the world top 20 for the first time since 2013, his bank balance is $2.6 million the better for the last two fun day Sundays. As I’m writing this he is currently due to play Augusta today and tomorrow with his son and he’s in the Ryder Cup squad on his own playing merits. In playing in this September’s Whistling Straits Ryder Cup, he will equal Nick Faldo’s record of 11 appearances and only be three years off Raymond Floyd’s record of being the oldest player to represent either side at age 51.

What’s most remarkable about this pinnacle of form that he finds himself in is that he has been paired with the stand out story of the year, Bryson Dechambeau, the player who put on 20 pounds of muscle during the first lock down. This particular element of the tale has particular relevance because Westwood is now one and one against Bryson on the past two Sundays, he hasn’t been fazed and has remained incredibly competitive against somebody over 20 years his junior.

The relevance is that Westwood knows his game, he knows what he needs to do to be competitive and he has stuck to that recipe for the past 25 years. Yet it has emerged that some of the young bucks have been rattled by the new found distance that Dechambeau has been exhibiting. McIlroy admitted in a press conference at the end of The Players Championship that he has lost his swing through trying to muscle the ball a few extra yards, something I’m sure Westwood has a wry smile about.

There is another element to this new found contentment on the golf course, and this being he has his fiancée caddying for him now. What Helen lacks in golf experience is more than made up by knowing her player better than anybody. There are some comedy moments which have arisen from a relatively new golfer taking on the responsibility of caddying for one of the game’s best known talents.

One which stands out was after Westwood dispatching a ball with a large divot to follow it, Helen was returning to the impact area with the divot with a grimace on her face. Lee asked what was wrong; apparently the reason for the face was because she was hoping there wasn’t a worm in the divot. Again, such a nice touch of reality from inside the ropes can’t help but keep Westwood’s emotional feet on the ground.

If you were watching the end of The Players Championship on Sunday, you may have noticed Ricky Roberts, Justin Thomas’ caddy having a quick look the sheet which had the prize money on it in the scorers’ room. With Justin Thomas winning $2.6 million in prize money that week you can understand why, percentages are percentages after all.

This is another significant advantage to having your fiancée caddying for you, not wanting to get personal but you do have to wonder what percentage Helen has negotiated. But for them it’s an absolute win-win, even when you’re not winning.

The British golfing general public are behind the two of them especially with The Masters quickly approaching. What a story that would be, if they managed to pull off a win at Augusta, just before his 48th birthday and would certainly go nicely towards the wedding which they have had to postpone twice due to the pandemic.




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