Westwood recognised for outstanding year

European number one Lee Westwood has been named the European Tour Players’ Player of the Year following his stunning 2009.

European number one Lee Westwood has been named the European Tour Players’ Player of the Year following his stunning 2009.

The ever-consistent Englishman ended a two-year drought with victory at October’s Portugal Masters before capping a storming end of season run with a superb six-shot victory at the season-ending Dubai World Championship.

The win in Dubai secured a second Harry Vardon Trophy after posting 13 top 10 finishes en route to a single-season earnings record, while Westwood also came agonisingly close to a first major title with third placed finishes at The Open and US PGA Championship.

“It was obviously a good year last year and I got an award from the press writers and various other awards, but to be voted the players’ player by the people you play with day in day out, week in week out and who know best what you go through emotionally when you are under pressure obviously means a lot,” said Westwood, who was also named the European Tour’s golfer of the year.

“It was a fantastic season – not just for me but everybody involved with the European Tour and the inaugural Race to Dubai.

“Of course, winning the Dubai World Championship and the Race was an unbelievable moment for me personally and one that will live with me forever.”

The world number four begins the new season tomorrow at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship with Westwood headlining an impressive field which contains eight of the world’s top 20 including Rory McIlroy and defending champion Paul Casey.

“It was a fantastic year last year, but at some point you have to stick it in a box and move on, but still feed from the confidence I gained from last year, especially the end of the year and the last tournament,” he added.

“It was nice to have a break following a long run of tournaments. I needed to relax and put my feet up and enjoy what had happened.

“But it is nice to get back out and have the freshness and enthusiasm starting again in a spot that suits me having only played in Abu Dhabi once and finished second. It is also a desert course and last time on a desert course I was pretty successful.”

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