Lee Westwood’s 25th career European Tour title at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday shows that, like the wine he drinks, the Englishman just gets better with age.
They threw a lot of good scores at him – Tommy Fleetwood and Victor Perez shot 63s and Matthew Fitzpatrick 67 – but Westwood, 46, seems to handle the pressure so well.
Just one ahead playing the last, he made a birdie to close out a two-shot victory over that trio.
He has been one of the best drivers around for his whole career and it was no different last week.
His 70 per cent of fairways hit was the best in the field and helped him to drop just four shots in 72 holes.
Key to Westwood’s longevity, though, is his fitness. Being in shape in your 20s and 30s is one thing, but to be in such good condition in your mid-40s speaks volumes about his regime. It’s not about diets so much as having a well-structured programme.
Fleetwood put up a fight with a nine-under-par final round that continued his very good recent results.
This tie for second follows his runner-up spot at the DP World Tour Championship and win at the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the end of last year.
Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, was the bridesmaid once again – this was his sixth second place since he last won 16 months ago.
He just has to take the positives: it was another good finish and boosts his hopes of a second Ryder Cup appearance later this year.
Westwood has played down his own prospects of representing Europe against the United States for an 11th time.
Week by week
In my book he’s certainly capable and, although he will be 47 by the time it takes place in September, older people than him have taken part.
You have to be on your game heading into a Ryder Cup so I’m sure he will only want to be involved if he’s playing well. He’s certainly made a good start, at any rate.
After his previous win at Sun City in late 2018 he seemed delighted. That could have proved to be his last on the European Tour but it turns out that it wasn’t and it shouldn’t be a shock.
At this stage of his career he will be taking things week by week. The doors to more success are open if he wants to walk through them. And of course at 50 he will have the chance to play the seniors circuit if he wants it.
But for now he should just enjoy this.
Landry steps up in style
Over in California, Andrew Landry was also celebrating after he won the American Express – his second PGA Tour title – in a bit of style.
Landry had missed seven of his previous eight cuts and lost a play-off at this event two years ago so might have feared the worst when a six-shot lead evaporated on the back nine.
But a tee shot to seven feet at 17 set up the first of two closing birdies and clinched a big step up for the 32-year-old Texan.