Last Updated: 12/04/12 12:21pm
Lee Westwood: Still searching for first major triumph
Lee Westwood was once again left to reflect on what might have been after falling narrowly short of Masters glory on the final day at Augusta.
The 38-year-old Worksop golfer shot a closing 68 to finish in third place, his sixth top three finish in his last 10 majors.
But it could have been an altogether different story for Westwood, who missed a number of short putts, including one inside 12 inches during round three, to extend his winless run in majors to 56.
"The story of the week is you have got to putt well to win The Masters and I haven't."
Lee Westwood Quotes of the week
Speaking after watching Bubba Watson overcome Louis Oosthuizen on the second play-off hole to win the green jacket, Westwood said: "The story of the week is you have got to putt well to win The Masters and I haven't.
On his short miss at the third hole on Saturday, he added: "That is not the kind of thing that will give you confidence for the rest of the round.
Westwood bemoans putting
"I didn't really make that many putts, but I'll keep plugging. I don't feel like giving up just yet."
There were eight Europeans in the last seven groups onto the course in the final round, including overnight leader Peter Hanson, but it is now 13 years since Jose Maria Olazabal became their last winner.
Westwood's failure to convert a seven-foot eagle chance on the 15th cost him dear. The 2010 runner-up would have gone into the joint lead, but birdies at four of the last six holes came too late.
Ian Poulter and Padraig Harrington were only two and three behind when they also birdied the 15th, but by the time they finished with a bogey and double bogey respectively it was all over for them in any case.
Poulter, who took seventh place, has had to battle back from pneumonia in the past month and said: "I feel fit, I feel healthy and it looks like it could be a good summer."
Harrington, who tied for eighth with the fast-finishing pair Adam Scott and Justin Rose, will at least get his world ranking moving in the right direction again after slumping to 96th.
"I feel I'm on an upturn in my game. I take a lot of positives out of how I played," he commented.
Justin Rose is determined to overcome the putting problems that hampered his Masters challenge last week.
Francesco Molinari thinks that Tiger Woods' putting form makes the American a red-hot favourite to win at Augusta.
Bubba Watson's victory at The Masters has seen the American climb to a career-high fourth in the latest round of world rankings.