Golf: Compensation for Westwood in play-off win

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The Independent Online
LEE WESTWOOD kept his nerve in a sudden death play-off to win the Macao Open yesterday. The 25-year-old from Worksop beat American Andrew Pitts on the second extra hole after a one-under-par last-round 70 gave him a nine-under total of 275.

Last week Westwood finished sixth at the Masters in Augusta after briefly sharing the lead during the final round. And he said his victory in Macao had made up for slipping off the pace across the Atlantic.

"It's nice to win tournaments," he said. "People ask me how many tournaments I've won and now it's 14. I've got off 13 at last. It was a great tournament - strong field, quality players and good low scoring."

Westwood led Pitts by a stroke with one to play but Pitts made a superb birdie at the last, after nearly holing his third shot from the rough from 135 yards, to force the event into over-time.

Westwood triumphed when his opponent three-putted the 564-yard par-five 18th from 40 feet. He added: "It's always difficult to beat guys on their own doorstep. They are used to these grasses and it's always tough to beat them on these greens."

Nearer to home, France's Jeff Remesy registered a final round of 68 to win the inaugural Estoril Open in Penha Longa, Portugal.

The 34-year-old from Cannes, the sixth first-time winner in Europe this year, held his nerve in a tense finale to birdie the last hole and finish with a two under total of 286, two ahead of England's David Carter, Scotland's Andrew Coltart and Italian Massimo Florioli. It was the highest winning score on the European Tour this year by three shots.

Remesy had been on the brink of quitting the game at the end of last year after losing his card and failing to win it back in his 12th consecutive visit to the qualifying school since turning professional in 1987.

Sessions with a sports psychologist improved his confidence, and he made the cut in events in Kenya and Madeira before winning the French PGA Championship last week in a play-off. Yesterday, he produced a superb final round with seven birdies to get the better of Coltart who had been level with two holes to go.