Westwood enlists Big Sam to rediscover form
Thursday 01 June 2006
Desperate golfers will resort to all sorts of remedies to rediscover their game; those such as Paul McGinley join in events such as this Wales Open, while others such as Lee Westwood simply join Bolton Wanderers.
But then, when someone as convincing as Sam Allardyce is promising to have you back to your best for the Ryder Cup you tend to listen. What is not good enough for England, palpably might be for Europe.
The 33-year-old will enrol at the Reebok the week after the Open Championship next month and his manager, Chubby Chandler, believes this renowned arena of scientific know-how could be the perfect environment in which to conquer the malaise that is threatening Westwood's participation in Ian Woosnam's team.
"I was talking to Sam at Old Trafford for the England friendly the other night, telling him how Lee has lost his focus and how he is terrified that he is about to go back to where he was a few years ago, when he fell out of the world's top 250," Chandler said. "Sam's reply was simple - 'Send him to me for a week and I'll sort him out'. I can see it being the making of Lee."
Woosnam hopes so, as should the rest of Europe. Westwood looks a man lost at the moment, having fallen out of the world's top 50 on the back of a dreadful run of form. After missing the cut at last week's BMW Championship, he revealed he would not be at Monday's qualifying for the US Open as he already had a corporate day in America booked, and on Tuesday his commitment again came under scrutiny when he withdrew from the Memorial tournament in Ohio, despite being on his way to the States.
Apart from Westwood's paranoia about dipping into another dramatic slump, Chandler talked of another reason for this seemed indifference. Chandler's illustrious stable also includes Darren Clarke, whose wife, Heather, continues her fight with cancer.
"He and Darren have become very close over the last nine months and it's been very deflating for Lee, as it has for all us who are close to them," explained Chandler.
"Whenever they're playing America, no one wants to ask Darren how Heather is for obvious reasons, so Lee fields all the questions. It's bound to affect you."
McGinley is also part of Team Chandler and has admitted in the past how distraught the Clarkes' plight has made him. "Perspective" is the word he has often used when asked about it and the Irishman has needed plenty of that in the last fortnight as he has rushed back from a fifth knee operation in an effort to secure his Ryder Cup place.
"I feel it's strong enough to take a chance and play here in Newport this week," McGinley said. Big Sam would have nodded in approval.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have no plans to stock Petr Cech inspired caps in club shops - yet
Petr Cech blasts Chelsea supporters who sent him death threats after £11m Arsenal transfer: 'They are not true fans'
Nathaniel Clyne joins Liverpool: Transfer news live - Arda Turan decision, Petr Cech reaction, Sergio Ramos to Manchester United
Christian Benteke to Liverpool: Aston Villa striker ready to reject Tottenham
Arda Turan announcement expected on Friday: Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United possible destinations
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Greece crisis: Alexis Tsipras accepts troika bailout proposals with conditions
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS