Westwood masters fatigue to take lead

Ryder Cup players running on empty as weather leaves second round unfinished

If Nick Faldo was that kind of person he might look at Lee Westwood riding high at British Masters and wonder if it was something he did or said at last week's Ryder Cup which caused Europe's Iron Man to record one point out of four. Fortunately, Faldo is as prone to self-doubt as he is to self-loathing so he will probably just shake his head and utter a few imponderables. Rotten luck, terrible timing, and all that.

Westwood's demeanour, however, tells its own story. Yesterday, after a 70 that moved him up to six under, he did not resemble a defending champion desperate to reclaim his title so much as a defending champion desperate to reclaim his duvet.

"I'm shattered and running on empty," he said. "I scrambled well and all the work I've done on my short game paid off. But I was lethargic and tired all day and I don't think three hours sitting around waiting to play helped."

Westwood was referring to the fog which delayed the start of play. Westwood had been due to tee off at 8.10am but he had to hang around until 11.20. It was exactly what he did not need after having his emotions fried in Kentucky.

Credit therefore to the 35-year-old for wedging tee-pegs between his eye-lids and producing two rounds that have left him perfectly poised to pick up the cheque for £310,000 that would put him within £87,000 of Padraig Harrington at the top of the money list. When one considers that a sprightly 28-year-old such as Oliver Wilson pulled out of this tournament, citing "fatigue", having figured in just two games at Valhalla, then it is possible to estimate Westwood's effort.

Graeme McDowell, the Ulsterman who was inspiring in Louisville, was perspiring in Sutton Coldfield last night, as he waited to see whether his three-over total would be good enough to make the cut. He, too, spoke of being "exhausted".

"I don't know how to deal with this 'comedown' feeling," he said. "Lee has learnt how to deal with things better than I have. Physically I'm probably not all there, but mentally I'm definitely not. If last week was 11 out of 10 then I'm five out of 10 this week. Once again, Lee has shown just how good he is."

That was certainly a relief for Westwood's management company, ISM – which promotes this event – and for the BBC. The cut claimed one big name in Colin Montgomerie, whose first-round 81 left him with no chance of making the weekend, and without Westwood the scoreboard would look decidedly light.

Yesterday's action was given a colourful edge by the play going out in pink shirts, to raise money for breast cancer charities. However, the second round could not be completed and the stragglers will resume this morning. It is a pain for some, but a boon for Westwood. It means another few minutes in bed.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions