Balancing act for Westwood
World number two out to shed 'nearly man' tag
Last Updated: 14/06/11 5:24pm
Lee Westwood is determined to stay patient in his pursuit of that elusive first major, but he's ready to pounce when opportunity does knock.
World number two Westwood is hoping to shed the Colin Montgomerie tag now afflicting him - that of being a nearly man when it comes to golf's biggest prizes.
Westwood believes he's getting it right in terms of the balancing act between disappointment and patience.
Just a month after bogeying the last at Turnberry two years ago - it cost him a place in the play-off - he came third in the USPGA. Then the following April it took an inspired display from Phil Mickelson to deny him at The Masters and three months after that he was second again in The Open.
"It's a tricky balancing act, going in with expectations but playing with a freedom as well."
Lee Westwood Quotes of the week
"I seem to be responding well and coming out of it positively, even though obviously I'd love to win one," he said.
Now Westwood is hoping this week's US Open at Congressional is the scene of his major breakthrough, and he's staying grounded and calm.
"It's a tricky balancing act, going in with expectations but playing with a freedom as well," said Westwood, who finished 19th here on his US Open debut 14 years ago.
"It's a fine line when you do get really close to it between becoming frustrated, but still seeing the positives in it.
"I feel like my game is good enough and if I just do a few things differently at the right times then it'll be the difference between a second and a win.
"If you're a good player you're going to have disappointments because you're going to be in contention a lot. So that's all part and parcel of it. As golfers, if you have a successful year we maybe win three times a year - that's about 10% of the times you play.
"So you get used to not winning and being disappointed, so if you're any good and mentally right you learn to try and take the positives out of anything, even when you maybe finish second and you thought you should have won one of these.
"You try and look at it on the bright side and I think I've probably managed to do that over the last few years."