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Lee Westwood taking potentially dubious record in stride

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If Lee Westwood fails to win The Open Championship this week, he will set the record for the most major championships played in without a win.

He currently shares the record of 87 with Jay Haas, but the 48-year-old Westwood is taking a cup-half-full approach should he pass the American with No. 88 this week.

“I do care about that,” Westwood said Wednesday. “That’s nice, that record. It shows I’ve been a good player for a long, long time.

“There’s not many people who have played in as many major championships as me.”

Westwood has three career runner-ups in majors — two at the Masters and one at The Open in 2010. He does have 44 victories worldwide and previously ascended to No. 1 in the world rankings.

So what if he holds the unofficial title as the best player to have never won a major?

“Another accolade, yeah,” he said. “I love it. Thank you.”

The Englishman enters the week ranked 29th in the world and reached as high as No. 19 earlier this year following consecutive runner-up finishes at Bay Hill and The Players.

Westwood’s results since then have been highly inconsistent, with three missed cuts in nine starts offsetting his best full-field event during that span, a T21 at the Byron Nelson. He acknowledged that his game — and intensity — tend to ebb and flow on a more weekly basis as he gets older.

“I’m not as consistent. Sometimes it turns up, sometimes it doesn’t. About as specific as I can be, really,” he said. “It might be down to my age. I think that.

“And the fact that I’ve been playing out here for 28 years, and sometimes I go to a tournament and the intensity is just not there. But when the intensity is there and my game is there, mentally I think I’m stronger.”

Westwood missed the cut in the two previous Open Championships he played in at Royal St. George’s. He didn’t recall the course in great detail when he arrived this week, but said he’s embracing the challenge and that the course is in excellent shape.

“I think it’s a pretty straightforward golf course. It kind of tells you where to hit it,” he said. “It’s a pretty fair golf course. How you play is pretty much what you’re going to get, I think.

“Like all links tournaments, you need a little bit of luck with the weather, and like golf, you need a little bit of luck, you need some good breaks.”

–Field Level Media

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