In-form Westwood aiming for return to top five in world

AFTER one of the biggest wins of the European Tour season Lee Westwood is now thinking big.

At the start of this decade Westwood was European number one and ranked fourth in the world behind Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.

He then fell outside the top 250 in a nightmare slump but, having turned things right round again, believes he can reach those dizzy heights again. Monday’s new ranking list should see back up to around 30th.

A five-stroke victory over Ian Poulter in the British Masters at The Belfry on Sunday was achieved with a brilliant closing 65, the round of the day by two.

“I would love to get back in the top five — and I think I can do it,” said Westwood, £300,000 (430,000) richer and the seventh player to top £10million (14.3m) in European Tour earnings.

“There’s still a lot of the year left. I haven’t looked at the Order of Merit for about six years, but I might have a look tonight.”

The 34-year-old from Worksop will find himself in 12th place, but if he can add the Dunhill Links championship in Scotland in two weeks’ time, he could leap all the way into second spot behind Open champion Pádraig Harrington.

Five months ago Westwood had not won anywhere for four years, but he broke that barren spell in Spain and since Ryder Cup qualifying started three weeks ago he has finished sixth, sixth and first.

Last year he needed a wildcard from Ian Woosnam to be part of the European line-up at the K Club.

He responded with a superb four points out of five, winning two emotional matches with Darren Clarke in the fourballs, halving twice in the foursomes with Colin Montgomerie and then beating Chris DiMarco in the singles.

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