LEE Westwood plays alongside the man who knocked him off the top of the world rankings, as the US Open begins today.
And the top two players in the sport will have the man ranked number three, Martin Kaymer, for company.
This weekend’s tournament at Congressional in Bethesda, Maryland, is Westwood’s 12th US Open outing.
And the 38-year-old, still hunting his first ever major title, is looking forward to facing off against his nearest rivals.
He quipped: “Amazing freak of nature how that came out in the draw, wasn’t it?”
“It’s exciting enough. I did it a few years ago at Torrey Pines.”
“I like it. I think it’s a good idea. I get on well with Luke and Martin, as well, so it’ll be a nice way to start off the tournament.”
Having come agonisingly close to a major win on a number of occasions, Westwood believes he’s on the verge of a triumph.
“I feel like my game is good enough,” he said.
“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.”
“There’s no secret ingredient or recipe to it. I keep getting myself in position and it’s just a case of finishing it off.”
Despite being in good form, and clearly confident in his game, Westwood admits that the US Open is the trickiest test he faces in his quest to claim a major.
He said: “I think it’s probably the toughest test of all four majors.”
“You seem to see the highest score winning here compared to the others.”
“You just have to be very, very patient and not give any shots away unnecessarily.”
“If you can make double instead of making triple, that’s great.”
“If you can make bogey instead of making double, that’s fantastic.”
“It’s almost like credit is one less birdie you need if you can make that three or four-footer when you need it.”
Westwood prepared for Congressional with the St Jude Classic in Memphis last weekend, finishing in a share of 11th, thanks to his final round of 66, six under par.
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