Golf: Westwood on march after 63 takes title

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The Independent Online
LEE WESTWOOD is setting his sights on displacing Colin Montgomerie as the European No 1 after winning the TNT Dutch Open here yesterday. The 26-year-old from Worksop came from five shots behind to equal his own course record with a brilliant closing eight-under-par 63 to snatch the pounds 133,000 first prize.

Westwood's total of 269, 15 under par, saw him finish one shot ahead of Scotland's Gary Orr, the overnight leader, with the Argentinian Eduardo Romero and the Australian Jarrod Moseley a shot further adrift.

It was Westwood's first victory in Europe this season after an injury- troubled year, but he has far from given up hope of preventing Montgomerie from taking a record seventh consecutive Order of Merit title. "I'd love to win it," said Westwood. "I'd finished fifth, seventh, fifth and then 18th at the Open in my last four events, but there's nothing like a win to shoot you right up there."

Victory had looked a faint hope after an opening round of 72 had left Westwood five shots off the pace and complaining of "putting like a chump". However, after abandoning his experiment with a new set of clubs he also discovered some rhythm on the greens and followed up with rounds of 68, 66, and 63 to snatch victory and move into second in the Ryder Cup table and fourth in the Order of Merit.

Westwood said: "I wasn't sure how far the new clubs were going to go so after the first round I got TNT to bring my old set out and they arrived 45 minutes before my second round. For the next three rounds I was 16 under and today I holed three putts over 15ft which is the first time I've done that for a long time."

Orr took three putts for a bogey on the 17th and his 18-foot birdie on the last was only good enough for second place and pounds 88,878. "It's no big deal, it's only a game of golf," he insisted. "I played pretty well but just made a couple of silly mistakes and I can't really complain."

TNT DUTCH OPEN (Hilversum) Leading final-round scores and totals (GB or Irl unless stated): 269 L Westwood 72 68 66 63; 270 G Orr 69 67 65 69; 271 E Romero (Arg) 67 68 72 64, J Moseley (Aus) 68 70 67 66; 274 M Lafeber (Neth) 73 68 64 69, D Clarke 72 65 67 70, C Spence (Aus) 73 67 66 68; 275 J Huston (US) 69 72 65 69, A Cabrera (Arg) 67 71 67 70, R Muntz (Neth) 67 70 66 72, I Garbutt 70 72 68 65, N Price (Zim) 73 66 67 69, A Oldcorn 76 66 67 66, J Lomas 70 66 68 71; 276 P McGinley (Ire) 68 69 71 68, E Darcy (Ire) 71 67 69 69, B Langer (Ger) 70 69 68 69, S Leaney (Aus) 71 69 65 71, D Robertson 73 68 70 65.

n Laura Davies finished second despite firing a final round of 65 in the German Open at Treudelberg, near Hamburg, yesterday. The Briton closed with a 20-foot eagle putt but still finished a stroke behind Anne-Marie Knight, of Australia, who shot a course record 64 for a 10-under total of 278.

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