Open Golf: How Westwood lost The OpenJuly, 2013
The Englishman blew his best chance yet on the final day at Muirfield. Here is how his round unfolded...
1st hole – A nice steady start. Finds the fairway in two and leaves his birdie putt narrowly short of the hole. Marches onto the second with The Open firmly in his sights after Tiger Woods makes bogey on the opening hole.
3rd hole – Nobody is panicking just yet but the first signs of nerves ripple around the third fairway as Westwood pulls his tee shot into the rough. However, the Englishman recovers well and is somewhat fortunate to leave the green with only a bogey when you consider the state of his lie from the tee. Meanwhile, fellow countryman Ian Poulter is on the charge and makes his fifth birdie to get back to level par for the tournament.
4th hole – Lee gets back to playing some solid golf and spears his tee shot onto the green at the par-3 fourth. His playing partner Hunter Mahan is in trouble and Westwood makes par and moves on still very much the favourite to take the claret jug. Tiger is in trouble and Poulter climbs into third place.
5th hole – Westwood again finds trouble from the tee, but plays a top class bunker shot to get out of danger. The putter looks red hot as he rolls a long one in for birdie to go back to -3 and two shots clear of the field.
7th hole – The turning point in Westwood’s round came at the par-3 7th. With the pin towards the back of the green, Westwood fires into the front left bunker and then somehow fails to get the ball out of the sand on his first attempt. However, a better bunker shot at the second time of asking followed by a terrific putt from 10 feet means he escapes with bogey and drops back to -2.
Lee’s Open dream comes to an end, and surely this is the best chance yet thrown away? 8th hole – Another disaster moment as he finds the bunker at the front of the green following an under-hit approach shot and then leaves the escape shot well short of the flag. Another bogey is the result and Adam Scott makes birdie at the ninth. For the first time in the day, Westwood does not hold the outright lead. Although nobody is yet paying attention, Phil Mickelson moves to one shot away from the leaders.
13th hole – Another bogey for Westwood as Lefty makes yet another birdie. Lee is no longer the favourite and people are looking elsewhere for the winner.
16th hole – Westwood’s final bogey proves to be the final nail in the coffin. As he makes that bogey, Mickelson is producing heroics on the 18th to win his first Open Championship. Lee’s Open dream comes to an end, and surely this is the best chance yet thrown away?