Worksop’s Lee well in contention at Muirfield

Some of the golfing world’s biggest stars are having an Open Championship to forget, but Lee Westwood is well in contention and having a ball.

The Worksop golfer insisted he was enjoying his Muirfield experience, despite his second round getting tougher as it went on today, as he carded a three under par 68 to go joint second, one shot behind Miguel Angel Jimenez.

“I love playing The Open Championship,” he said.

“This is the biggest tournament of the year for me, being a Brit, and it being played in Britain.”

“And why not enjoy it out there? It’s tough for everybody. So smile your way through.”

Westwood, teeing off at 9am when the greens still had some moisture and the wind was minimal, made light work of the front nine.

He continued to putt with confidence and was more accurate off the tee than 24 hours earlier.

When he did find himself in trouble, like the sheer greenside bunker on the fourth, his ability to recover was top class.

Birdies at the first, second, fifth, eighth and ninth had him tied for second at the turn, four under par for the tournament.

And when a cracking approach to the 12th led to a successful birdie putt, Westwood was the joint leader.

But conditions became trickier, the searing heat making the greens hard once more.

“I was pleased to be 6-under through 12.”

“I was playing some great stuff.”

“And it was just getting harder as the holes progressed, tougher to score, tougher to get it close.”

Westwood dropped shots at the 13th, 14th and 18th to end the day three under par, two under for the tournament, giving himself every chance of contending for his first major title, at the 62nd attempt.