Westwood shrugs off wasp sting

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The Independent Online

Lee Westwood overcame a wasp sting to maintain his bid for a second European Order of Merit title yesterday. Westwood opened the Portugal Masters here at Oceanico Victoria with a six-under-par 66 to be only one behind early clubhouse leaders Alastair Forsyth and Charl Schwartzel.

But the Ryder Cup stalwart's playing partner Colin Montgomerie – a lowly 103rd on the money list and 255th in the world – had to be content with "only" a 68 after also going to the turn in 32.

Westwood was stung on the long 17th, his eighth, and lifted his right trouser leg to reveal a big red mark left by the wasp sting. "It only hurts when I put my foot down. It's going to be one long hop round the front nine," he said.

However, that did not stop him adding further birdies at the second, fifth and sixth before driving into the rough cost him a bogey on the next. "I'm lucky I'm not allergic to stings," he added afterwards. "I saw it clinging on while it was stinging me, but I'm a big hard strong lad."

Westwood is fourth on the Order of Merit and with a chance to go top this weekend, but current leader Rory McIlroy, one of the later starters, had to wait until only the second hole for his first birdie of the day.