Westwood is Mastering his game again at the right time

Lee Westwood believes an 18-month spell of inconsistent ball striking is coming to an end – just in time for the first major of the year.

The Worksop golfer is playing his 15th Masters tournament in Augusta this weekend, and was approaching the event in a positive frame of mind after a top 20 finish at the Shell Houston Open last week.

Westwood, who finished second in 2010 and tied for third in 2012, said: “My game is really good and Thursday’s round was definitely the best I have played tee to green in two years.”

“ I’m just pleased to be starting to hit the ball good again because I have been struggling for about a year to a year and a half now. “

“I’m hitting the ball very well at the moment and that’s important going into any major.”

Westwood, who has been working with new coach Mike Walker, will be able to count on family support this weekend, with mum and dad Trish and John travelling out for the tournament.

The bookies might not be giving Westwood much of a chance, with the Worksop golfer at 50-1 in some places, but fellow Englishman Justin Rose – who knows what it takes to win a major – fancies the 40-year-old’s chances.

“I can see signs that Lee is coming into a bit of form, and he has a fine record around here,” he said.

Westwood, ranked 37 in the world, was due to tee off alongside Harris English and Russell Henley in Thursday’s opening round.