Westwood is proud that Britain's got talent

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Lee Westwood has called on his country to start appreciating its talented golfers and affording them some of the credit which Andy Murray currently monopolises. The world No 4 was speaking on the eve of the WGC World Match Play Championship which features an unprecedented number of his compatriots.

"Fifteen per cent of the field this week is English", said the 35-year-old. "It's staggering. People don't appreciate how good English golf is at the minute. It probably doesn't get the credit it deserves in the general sports media.

"They highlight players in other sports where we have one in the top 100. In golf they get overlooked a bit and I don't think we should."

Westwood's lament is perfectly understandable when one considers that, nine years ago, no English golfer qualified for this elite 64-man event – and this year there are nine here. Furthermore, five of the top 10 seeds hail from Great Britain and Ireland, with only two from the United States.

Second seed Westwood today faces his countryman, Chris Wood. Despite a brilliant Ryder Cup record, Westwood has never progressed beyond the second round of this event. But with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson missing, he is one of the favourites to collect the £900,000 first prize.