Westwood enjoys major boost

Lee Westwood will go into this week's US PGA Championship with great confidence following his runner-up finish at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational that helped him rise to No 12 in the world rankings and thus become the highest-ranked Briton. The Englishman finished tied for second with Stuart Appleby at nine under par here on Sunday night, a shot behind the winner, Vijay Singh, to overtake Justin Rose as the British No 1.

Singh, Westwood (right) and Phil Mickelson had battled all day, having started the final round as co-leaders at Firestone Country Club. Westwood paid dearly for a double-bogey at the seventh, but was still proud of his efforts going into Thursday's final major of the year at Oakland Hills.

"I think it will give me confidence," Westwood said yesterday. "Things like seven do happen, and to come back from that was great, because it's never easy playing this golf course. You have to hit it in the fairways, which I did mostly and gave myself good birdie chances. My distance control and irons were good and I thought I handled the pressure pretty good."

Westwood said his run at the US Open in June had stood him in good stead. "When I get into contention and play in the last group, I feel very comfortable now," he added. "I've got a routine I go through, and nothing phases me too much."