Mr Consistency comes good

ON THE GREENS WITH<br /><strong>SAM TORRANCE</strong><br /><br />GIVEN his ultra consistency, it&rsquo;s hard to believe that Lee Westwood was celebrating a first European Tour win in two years in Portugal this weekend.<br /><br />Westwood has been the steadiest performer on the Tour for some time now, but has all too often fallen just short of landing the big prize. This weekend, however, he proved that form is temporary and class is permanent. Since his last win at the 2007 British Masters, Lee has suffered three play-off defeats, near misses at both the Open Championship and US Open and no fewer than 26 top-10 finishes.<br /><br />With incredible statistics like that, a victory is never usually too far away, and Lee was eventually rewarded for his patience with a closing 66 at Vilamoura, which saw him pip Italian Francesco Molinari by two shots and Padraig Harrington by four.<br /><br />His approach shot for birdie on 17 was quite exquisite.<br /><br />To top it off, the &euro;500,000 first prize not only lifts Lee from fourth to first in the Race to Dubai standings, but also sees him climb in fifth in the world rankings. Not bad for a guy who slipped out of the world&rsquo;s top 250 just seven years ago.<br /><br />Lee&rsquo;s wasn&rsquo;t the other British success this weekend as Scot Martin Laird produced the performance of his life to clinch his first PGA Tour victory in Las Vegas.<br /><br />Martin carded a final round 68 to take him into a three-way play-off with Chad Campbell and George McNeill, which he eventually took with a steady par at the second extra hole.<br /><br />Victory not only earned young Martin a two-year Tour exemption and a fat winner&rsquo;s cheque of &pound;462,000, it also ensured he became the first Scot to win a PGA Tour title since Sandy Lyle won the Masters at Augusta 21 years ago.<br /><br />Unfortunately, I wasn&rsquo;t able to continue the Scottish success when my hopes of going back to the top of the Seniors Tour Order of Merit were dented in Marbella.<br /><br />Three tired rounds of 74, 72 and 72 were never likely to threaten, so it&rsquo;s win or bust in the final event, in Castellon, Spain, in two weeks time.<br /><br />