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.

Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam