Westwood eyes major-winning formula
The one thing missing from Lee Westwood’s CV is a Major Championship title.
In recent times he’s seen close friends Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy win at the game’s highest level.
Then there’s been fellow ISM management stable mates Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel also capturing Majors, while Westwood has watched from close hand as the likes of Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell step forward to receive the sport’s most prestigious silverware.
So in an effort to assist Westwood in a goal to become a Major Champion he’s turned to two people who have proved pivotal in the success of those around him.
In the days leading up to the recent WGC – Bridgestone Invitational, Westwood sought out putting guru Dave Stockton and son, Dave Stockton Jnr, along with renowned sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella.
McIlroy had turned to Stockton in May just prior to his stunning Congressional command performance.
And after a 10-year break and despite some scepticism, Westwood sat down in Akron, Ohio with Rotella who Harrington credited with helping him win three Majors.
“It was about 10 years ago when I last sat down with Dr. Bob, and it was very interesting what he had to say,” said Westwood.
“I’ve never felt like I needed a sports psychologist as I’ve always felt mentally stable. They’ve all looked a bit odd to me, like they’re the ones who need to see somebody.
“So I want to see if it helps. The mind’s a massive part of the game isn’t it?
“So it makes sense to see someone who knows what they’re talking about. Why didn’t I do it before? I don’t know. Like I always said, I just didn’t feel as if I needed it.”
Much the same can be said about Westwood’s putting.
During the course of the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational the Golf Channel ran a clip of Westwood offering a putting tip, and this from a player who felt he was struggling so much with his putting.
PING also ran a commercial during the tournament featuring Westwood putting.
The Englishman has more than a 100 putters lying about his Worksop mansion and took six with him to the States for the Bridgestone and PGA Championship.
But when it’s come to the shortest club in the bag, he’s always listened to his father, John.
But after a woeful putting display in this year’s British Open where he missed the cut, Westwood has reacted by turning to Stockton.
“Dave threw a lot at me so it’s just a case of sifting out stuff I like,” said Westwood.
Stockton was more forthcoming, saying Westwood’s putting was ‘very mechanical’.
Stockton, a former USA Ryder Cup captain, strangely asked Westwood to sign his autograph.
“I told him you have to make up your mind that you’re going to putt like you write your signature,” said Stockton Snr.
“Lee just laughed. He had a wonderful attitude. He was great to work with.”
And when Westwood was quizzed why he hadn’t turned to the likes of Rotella or the Stocktons earlier, he responded: “I’m a Taurus and just stubborn.”