The Open: Lee Westwood grinds out par opening round

COULD Erewash Valley be named golf club of the year?
COULD Erewash Valley be named golf club of the year?

Lee Westwood grinded out a hard earned opening round of level of par, in the first round of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon.

The Worksop golfer was three over through 11 holes and just saved a par on the 11th, before getting a birdie and an eagle in the final six holes to shot a 71.

First two holes were routine pars for Westwood, with steady iron’s off the tee and approach shots 20 feet away for birdie on both hole’s.

Third hole was steady for Westwood to start off with another iron down the fairway, however his approach shot fell 40 feet away from the hole, his putt for the birdie fell eight feet short and he missed the second putt to go to one over.

The next hole was a tricky par five, Lee hit a great drive down the middle of the fairway and was looking at hitting his second shot into the green. Lee pulled his iron shot short and left, leaving himself with a horrible lie and he couldn’t get himself out of trouble hitting his approach shot 20 yards further, Westwood then hit his fourth shot onto the green and made the eight foot putt for par.

Fifth hole short par three proved tricky for Westwood, with a poor tee shot pulling his iron shot to the right hand side of the green. His chip shot wasn’t any better running past the pin to fifteen feet for a tricky par putt, Westwood regrouped and made the par putt.

Another birdie chance for Westwood at the par five sixth, he hits a good tee shot down the middle, laid up with his second shot to 100 yards hits his third shot eight foot away, missed the birdie putt and settled for a par.

Still at one over and two birdie chances missed at four and six, Lee hit a great drive down the short par four seventh and hit his approached shot to six feet. Westwood made the birdie putt to get his first birdie of the day and got back to level par.

Eighth, Ninth and tenth hole proved expensive for Westwood after bogeying all three holes to take him to three over.

A poor tee shot on all three holes proved to be too much for Lee to scramble any par’s, falling out of the top 100 on the leader board.

The eleventh hole turned out to be the turning point in Westwood’s round after yet another way wood tee shot from Lee, after a horrible lie in the rough Westwood got out of the rough about 50 yards down the fairway, with a very tricky up and down for a par save, the Nottinghamshire golfer hit his third shot over the pin 15 feet past, Westwood managed to make the return putt to save par.

Twelve hole was a challenging par 4, which Lee found the semi rough with his iron off the tee, the ball fell into a great lie and Westwood hit a great approach shot to about 10 feet, resulting in Lee to make the birdie putt to get back to +2.

Hole 13th was another tricky par 4, Westwood hit a good tee shot down the middle and put his approach shot about 10 feet away from the hole, where he missed the birdie putt.

Hole’s 14 and 15 were routine par’s for Lee who found both greens in regulation but didn’t fine the birdie putts to get him closer to level par.

16th hole was a great birdie chance for Lee, he hit a great wood off the tee into the middle of the fairway and laid up with a crisp iron shot to within 100 yards, Westwood then hit his approach shot into the hole for a eagle. There was a massive roar from the crowd and Lee moved up to level par.

17th hole proved to be a very tough and long par 3, Lee hit a solid tee shot onto the green about 20 feet away, he missed the birdie putt by a foot or two and got a routine par.

18th hole was a steady par 4 where Lee found the fairway with the driver and slightly over hit his approach shot which left him a tricky 25 foot putt for birdie on the last, the following putt was a great effort from Westwood putt it was another par for the Worksop man leaving him at level par.