Lee Westwood inspired by past Masters experience

England's Lee Westwood on the 5th tee during the second round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course on July 17, 2015 in St Andrews, Fife.

17 July 2015. Picture by Jane Barlow.

� Jane Barlow 2015 {all rights reserved}
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England's Lee Westwood on the 5th tee during the second round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course on July 17, 2015 in St Andrews, Fife. 17 July 2015. Picture by Jane Barlow. � Jane Barlow 2015 {all rights reserved} janebarlowphotography@gmail.com m: 07870 152324

Lee Westwood will this week draw inspiration from his past performances at Augusta as he attempts to land an elusive major.

The Masters has been a tournament in which the Worksop man has often excelled, without actually winning it.

It’s those near-misses and finishes near the top of the leaderboard that give him a boost on the 20th anniversary of his Masters debut.

In 1997 he secured a share of 24th place.

Since then it’s largely been a love-affair between the Worksop Golf Club export and the famous Georgian course.

He told national newspaper The Guardian: “It is a special place.

“The more you play it the better it is.

“It is definitely horses for courses round here; you get the same faces at the top of the leaderboard.

“Jack Nicklaus had a fantastic record, Tiger too, Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer always seemed to be in contention, Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson ... you get a lot of repeat good performers.

“It is a place where, if you learn it and figure it out, if it suits you, then you can go and play well every year. I think that’s the case no matter what age you are.”

Westwood finished joint second last year alongside American Jordan Speith, as Sheffield’s Danny Willett sealed a dramatic come-from-behind on the final day.

The 2016 result made it a pair of second-place finishes in this tournament for Westwood.

“I draw inspiration from the results over the last seven years, not just what happened last year,” he said.

“Other than a 46th in 2015 my worst finish from 2010 onwards has been 11th.

“I have had a lot of top 10s, a couple of seconds and thirds in there, so obviously this is a course that’s good for me.

“I enjoy the week, I am comfortable and I know I can get round the golf course.”

Westwood’s fellow ISM stablemate and Lindrick member Willett, meanwhile, says the health of English golf is very encouraging.

He and Westwood are two of 11 Englishmen in the field this week.

“I think golf in England is in great hands at the moment,” said the defending Masters champion.

“You know, it’s been passed down from obviously Nick to Westy and Poults and Donald and Casey and Rosey, and now I think you’re seeing the new wave of guys kind of my age and then even younger than myself.

“So I don’t think it will be long before you see the guys starting to step it up again in major championships.

“You know, at the end of the day, all you’ve got to do is come here and play good golf.

“We showed that last year. Doesn’t really matter who you are; as long as you come with a golf game that’s in shape to win and as long as you can handle the situation, then you’ve got a chance to do it.”