Play was held up for nearly four hours yesterday due to the threat of lightning at Kuala Lumpur G&CC but Westwood, who had seen a four-shot lead cut to one by Andy Sullivan in Saturday’s third round, responded with a closing 68 to finish on 18 under par.
His nearest challengers trailed in on 11 under as Sullivan, the former Walker Cup player seeking a first European Tour win, plummeted down the field with a six-over-par 78.
Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger shot 67, South African Louis Oosthuizen 68 and Westwood’s Ryder Cup colleague Nicolas Colsaerts 70 to progress to the head of the chasing pack.
“I started working with a new coach a few weeks ago, Mike Walker, and Billy Foster came back on the bag at the end of last year, so I was going back to what I had done before because it had worked,” said Westwood.
“It’s started to work already – the last couple of weeks I’ve played well in Houston and atthe Masters last week and this week I’ve obviously played very well.
* Graeme McDowell wrapped-up his defence of RBC Heritage Classic with a round 70 for a top-25 finish at Hilton Head, South Carolina.
McDowell, who posted three birdies and two bogeys, will now take a fortnight’s break before teeing up next in the May 8th starting $10m Players Championship.
“It’s been a great week and I’ve enjoyed being defending champion here but I’ve now got a couple of weeks off and some work to do but it’s close, very close,” he said. “But in saying my game just wasn’t firing on all cylinders but then I actually hit the ball a lot better the last two-and-a-half rounds, so all in all I am happy with that first third of my season.”