West­wood bags an ace – thanks to his girl­friend

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Cycling - By James Cor­ri­gan GOLF COR­RE­SPON­DENT Ace shot: Lee West­wood hit his sec­ond hole-in-one of the year at Carnoustie

With 17 holes-in-one al­ready in his locker, Lee West­wood ar­rived at the par-three eighth at Carnoustie know­ing ex­actly what it would take to record No18. How­ever, he only achieved the mile­stone thanks to the ad­vice of his girl­friend.

He­len Storey has been a part­time cad­die to West­wood for the past few years, but the deal has al­ways been that the for­mer world No 1 works out the yardages and “makes the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions”. Yet as he dithered over clubs on his teeshot on his penul­ti­mate hole of the first round of the Dun­hill Links, the fit­ness con­sul­tant from New­cas­tle de­cided it was fi­nally time to in­ter­vene.

“He­len told me, ‘Six [iron] looks bet­ter – it’s closer to the yardage’,” West­wood said. “It was 189 yards and as it was down­wind I thought it was seven [iron]. But the wind just dropped when I was over the ball, so I stood off it. I’m just glad we made the cor­rect choice even­tu­ally.”

This was West­wood’s sec­ond ace in com­pe­ti­tion this year, hav­ing ac­com­plished the same feat against coun­try­man Tyrrell Hat­ton in the WGC Match­play in Austin in March.

West­wood’s 69 put him six off the pace set by Justin Wal­ters, but the South African com­piled his nine-un­der mag­nif­i­cence on the Old Course at St An­drews.

An­other English­man, 26-yearold Jor­dan Smith, is in a group on eight un­der, with Hat­ton and Tommy Fleet­wood two fur­ther back af­ter pair of 66s, also at Carnoustie.

Hat­ton has won this event twice and is clearly con­fi­dent of cap­tur­ing the £680,000 first prize for the third time in four years. “I guess this time of year I play well,” Hat­ton said. “I didn’t play that well to­day, but I scored well. Hope­fully I can hit it bet­ter tomorrow at Kings­barns and keep hol­ing putts.”

Hat­ton’s Ry­der Cup team-mate Fleet­wood is also a spe­cial­ist in the Dun­hill, al­though he is still wait­ing to pick up the tro­phy fol­low­ing two sec­ond-place fin­ishes. “I’d love to have this event on my CV,” Fleet­wood said, fol­low­ing a round fea­tur­ing seven birdies and a bo­gey.

Justin Rose is on four-un­der, while world No 2 Rory Mcil­roy shot his own 69 that in­cluded a dou­ble­bo­gey on “Ho­gan’s Al­ley”, Carnoustie’s par-five sixth. Mcil­roy missed the “al­ley” up the nar­row left side with his drive, watch­ing it catch a gust and sail out of bounds.

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