Westwood looking for ‘special’ Open win

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LEE Westwood is playing in the ‘biggest championship in the world’ this weekend, hoping for home advantage.

The Worksop golfer will try to land his first major at the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s and says playing in England won’t put him under more pressure.

“This is the biggest championship in the world for me,” he said this week.

“It would obviously mean a lot (to win). I haven’t won a major yet and I’d like to win one or two or three.”

“It’s fun to play – we have very few tournaments in England now, this and the PGA Championship, so it’s fun to play in front of a home crowd and feel all that support, but it doesn’t really add to the pressure.”

“It’s nice to play on the home turf. That makes it more special.”

Westwood suffered an injury scare a fortnight ago at the Alstrom Open de France, when he almost lost his footing and felt a twinge in his groin, but he insists he’s fully fit for The Open.

“I think I did the right thing in carrying on, keeping it moving after I’d slipped,” he said.

“It felt like I tweaked something in there.”

“But I think the worst thing to do would have been to stop.”

“I think just keeping it loose and stretching it after meant that it didn’t last for too long.”

His preparations for the major have been relaxed and he’s many bookies’ second favourite to win, behind the resurgent Tiger Woods.

Westwood himself is feeling good.

He said: “The preparations have gone well.”

“Last week I had a week off, I played quite a bit of golf and did some practice.”

“My game is in good shape.”

“I played the golf course last week, which was a genius move because it was nice weather and there was hardly anybody out there.”

“It was one of the best Open Championship practices I ever had.”

The 39-year-old was due to tee off with Bubba Watson and Yoshinori Fujimoto at 9.20am on Thursday, and their second round begins at 2.21pm on Friday.