Lee aims for lift to Mas­ters

GOLF

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - DRIVE -

WORLD No2 Lee West­wood is hop­ing this week’s Shell Hous­ton Open will pro­vide him with the per­fect buildup to The Mas­ters.

The Work­sop golfer is back in ac­tion for the first time in three weeks and is con­fi­dent his game is in de­cent shape as the count­down to Au­gusta con­tin­ues.

West­wood was ranked top of the pile for al­most four months but a slow start to the sea­son saw him o v e r t a k e n b y Mart i n Kaymer four-and-a-half weeks ago.

The 37-year-old said: “I’m here to try to win. That would be great and I’d take a lot of con­fi­dence go­ing into next week with that.

“I’m look­ing to play well and hit good shots and take the way I’ve been hit­ting shots on the range and strik­ing putts.

“I’ve seen a big im­prove­ment in the three weeks since I last played so I want to take that on to the golf course and play solidly.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to this week and next week and this is gen­er­ally the time of year I start to play fairly well and get in top form.

“I like to be com­pet­i­tive go­ing into the week of a ma­jor, so that’s the rea­son why I play the Shell Hous­ton Open.”

West­wood, who will climb back to No1 in the world if he fin­ishes in the top two, will tee off along­side Phil Mick­el­son and d e f e n d i n g c h a mpi o n An­thony Kim at the Red­stone Golf Club.

Even that line-up has a Mas­ters con­nec­tion, with Mick­el­son, West­wood and Kim tak­ing the top three spots at Au­gusta 12 months ago.

BIG IM­PROVE­MENT: Lee West­wood is look­ing to find a com­pet­i­tive edge in Hous­ton.

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