The Open 2013: Lee Westwood says 'I know what to work on' after missing out again
The Englishman was in the mix on the final day
Monday 22 July 2013
Lee Westwood insists another Open near-miss and major disappointment will not affect him as his 62nd attempt to join golf's elite fell at the final hurdle again.
The 40-year-old went into the final round at Muirfield leading by three but was eclipsed by a brilliant finale from Phil Mickelson - a man whose four previous majors shows he knows how to get things done.
While Westwood, Masters champion Adam Scott and world number one Tiger Woods struggled to gain a strong enough grip on the Claret Jug, the left-handed American surged through the field, recording four birdies in the last six holes to sign for a 66 and win by three from Henrik Stenson.
Westwood had to settle for joint third along with fellow Englishman Ian Poulter and Australian Scott.
It was the eighth time in his 16 top-10 major finishes he has been second or third and his critics will say time is running out.
"I didn't do a lot wrong, I just didn't do enough right. I know what I've got to work on," said the Worksop golfer, now living in America.
"I finished top three in a major championship. I would like to have won but you can't not take positives from top three in a major.
"I keep putting myself in contention. I'm not too disappointed. I don't really get disappointed with golf any more.
"I was amazed to be in the lead going into the fourth round, because every time I turned into the wind I was really struggling.
"I didn't feel like I was striking the ball well but I putted lovely this week and I made my fair share so there was a lot of positives to take out of the week."
Poulter left himself too much to do having started the day eight off the lead.
When he bogeyed the third he was even further back but a brilliant run of eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie from the ninth as he began sinking putts thrust him into contention.
The 37-year-old was definitely on a roll but his momentum came to a shuddering halt when he missed the green at the 16th and failed to get up and down, finishing one over for the tournament.
"I just felt that if I could stay patient, take a few chances, don't make silly mistakes then I could definitely move up that board," he said.
"I was eight back, realistically, do you really think you've got a chance to run straight through and nick it?
"Going to bed Saturday night, probably not, but you just realise that Paul Lawrie came from 10 back (in 1999).
"There was a six-shot swing in four holes last year. This tournament does it year in, year out, and it creates a lot of drama.
"You've just got to find yourself in position around the back nine and see if it's good enough."
Swede Stenson finished runner-up on level par after a round of 70, securing his best finish in the tournament after two joint thirds.
He just missed out to Mickelson at the Scottish Open the previous week as well but having gone through the second of his career slumps only two years ago when he dropped to 230th in the world the 37-year-old was relatively happy.
"I've made some great improvements this season, getting back into form," the new world number 20 said.
"Experience is obviously a key factor and a big factor in these weeks and I'm gaining experience.
"I've learned a lot this week and I'm ready to be back at it next year or at the PGA Championship, which is the next major that we have (next month)."
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