I’ve achieved a childhood dream, beams Westwood

WORLD No1 Lee Westwood admits he is revelling in his new status as the planet’s best player. The Englishman knocked Tiger Woods off top spot on Sunday, despite being sidelined by injury, and is looking forward to defending his ranking at this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

“It’s a great honour and a big responsibility. It certainly sounds and feels good right now,” said Westwood. “When you are growing up and people say what do you want to achieve, everyone says I want to be the best in the world. Right at this moment I can show people the world rankings and say I am the best on the planet.”

Westwood faces a three-way threat to his crown, however, with Woods, Ryder Cup colleague Martin Kaymer, and American Phil Mickelson all in striking distance of top spot. All four are in action in China and Westwood knows it is likely to be only a matter of time before 14-time Major winner Woods rediscovers his winning touch.

“I would not write Tiger off as quickly as that,” he added. “He has gone away and come back before. He will be there or thereabouts. If anyone can put a run together it’s so close they could take the No1 spot.

“But it’s taken me a long time to reach world No1, I’m not going to worry about who I am going to lose it to. This week is going to be very exciting for golf, with four people having a chance to get to No1, but I like those kind of rivalries.”