LEE Westwood took advantage of his early tee time to rocket up the leaderboard, ending the day with a 68 to finish on two under.

The Englishman picked up six birdies in the first 12 holes before dropping three shots on the tough closing stretch.

“I felt pretty comfortable. I was hitting the ball well. Putting nicely. The golf course got really difficult. The finish is tough; 16, 17, 18 are playing hard. So it’s like most Major championships, it’s a grind out there.”

Part of the reason Westwood has, to date, failed to win a Major is his putting. Not enough putts have dropped and his supreme ball striking has gone unrewarded. This week, though, the flat stick has been working after some work with his neighbour in the States Ian Baker-Finch.
"I’ll kick back this afternoon on the couch and watch some struggles and the cricket,"
 – Lee Westwood “I got a couple of tips on getting tension out of my arms and having a bit more control. And I’m getting it on line nicely, and I’ve gauged the pace of the greens as well,” he said.

“I go through spells where I’m feeling confident on the greens. I’m also hitting the ball well. And controlling the flight most of the time pretty well, and getting up and down when I needed to. I’ve always enjoyed playing Muirfield and felt like it suited my game.”

While the course dries out and the scores soar Westwood will be putting his feet up for a well-earned rest.

I’ll kick back this afternoon on the couch and watch some struggles and the cricket.”