IT may not have worked out for Lee Westwood in the Players’ Championship at Sawgrass at the weekend but despite the obvious comparisons to his US Masters plight, I’d still be feeling pretty positive about life right now if I were him.
In the end, a bogey on 14 and double-bogey on 17 ended Lee’s charge after a hard-fought four days, but the fact is he is still playing at such a consistently high level and putting himself in a winning position.
Although he’ll clearly be disappointed with his final round at Sawgrass, it will not have any psychological affect on him. It’s damn hard work to take on the world’s elite week-in, week out but Lee is a prolific winner and will take the positives.
Lee was beaten in the end by the round of the year. Tim Clark’s final 67 in such tough conditions – including a run of five birdies in six holes – was worthy of a maiden PGA Tour and the £1.1m prize money.
Unfortunately, however, world No1 Tiger Woods didn’t stay around to the end, withdrawing after six holes with a neck injury. Whatever was going through his mind at the time, rest assured he’ll be back sooner rather than later.
Across the water, 38-year-old Fredrik Andersson Hed enjoyed his finest hour, winning the Italian Open for his first European Tour victory since turning professional in 1995.
He was made to fight all the way to hold off David Horsey, whose late challenge ended with two bogeys in the final five holes.
The Italian home crowd did have plenty to cheer, however, in the shape of 17-year-old Matteo Manassero, who ended his professional debut on a creditable five-under-par.
Matteo is as good a player as I’ve seen at 17 and I’m really looking forward to seeing him at Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship next week.