West­wood plays per­fect host

Daily Express - - SPORT - Neil Squires

SER­GIO GAR­CIA backed tour­na­ment host Lee West­wood to pull off a home win at the Bri­tish Mas­ters this week­end after crash­ing out at Close House.

The Mas­ters cham­pion missed the cut, blam­ing the slow Northum­ber­land greens for his fail­ure to keep pace as West­wood tucked him­self into the slip­stream of leader Tyrrell Hat­ton.

West­wood bo­gey-free for went the first 36 holes for the first time since he was world No1 seven years ago to set him­self up for a shot at Hat­ton, who leads by three strokes.

“He putted very well, which I don’t know how you do on these greens be­cause they’re not the smoothest,” said Gar­cia of West­wood.

“He’s had two very good days and he looks good for the week­end.” The Spa­niard broke par with a 69 but, with the course set up for low scor­ing by West­wood, he could not hole enough putts.

“Ser­gio was com­ing from At­lanta last week where the greens were run­ning fast. It’s the North-east of Eng­land and it’s not pos­si­ble to get that kind of speed here, ” said West­wood.

Rory McIl­roy will be around for the week­end but is eight shots adrift after a stodgy 69 yes­ter­day.

Hat­ton has en­dured a dis­mal sum­mer, miss­ing five suc­ces­sive cuts, but looks back to his best.

“I’m feel­ing good,” he said.

THE Euro­pean Tour will fea­ture four new events next season with the Oman Classic, the Bel­gian Knock­out, the Euro­pean Team Cham­pi­onships and the Philip­pines Cham­pi­onship all added to the sched­ule.

GAR­CIA: Green is­sues

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