Westwood plays perfect host
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