The latest coach has come and gone but he has a new man on the bag, or rather an old acquaintance making a new beginning. The move to America last year was not all it might have been for Lee Westwood. Off the green the family has settled and the kids are happy diving into a Florida pool after school, yet form has proved elusive.
After surrendering a three-shot lead with 12 holes of the Open Championship to play, Westwood suffered a torrid six months. His top 20 in Los Angeles at the Northern Trust Open last Sunday was his highest in a regular tour event since, providing a timely boost to confidence ahead of the WGC-Accenture Match Play starting in Tucson on Wednesday.
The association with swing coach to the stars, Sean Foley, proved unproductive. "I just wanted to work on swing positions and stuff like that," Westwood said. "I didn't feel like Sean coached like that, so it didn't really fit what I wanted to do." There is now a move to simplify matters, a back-to-basics philosophy that he hopes will see a return to the form of 2010 that saw him reach world No 1 and when, of course, Billy Foster was the man at his side. Westwood added he has a few ideas in the pipeline about a new coaching appointment. In the meantime it's about recreating the atmosphere that took the pair to the summit of the game.
"Last year was pretty average, not good enough, really. I have got Billy back on the bag this year. I reached world No 1 with him a couple of years ago so, hopefully, he will be the catalyst to getting my game back into shape, where it should be really."
Should Westwood get past Harris English in the first round, he faces a potential second-round tie with Rory McIlroy, who beat him two years ago in the semi-finals. In the absence of three of world's top four players, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson, McIlroy starts favourite.Reuse content