Lee Westwood has not given up hope of catching runaway leader Luke Donald in The Race to Dubai and is targeting victory at this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as he looks to close the gap on his fellow countryman.
Donald, the World Number One, has amassed €3,778,199 so far this year, more than €1.6 million more than second-placed Rory McIlroy and almost double that of Westwood, who currently lies fourth.
However, asked whether the 33 year old was now out of sight, Westwood replied: “I think him being here tells you he doesn't think he's out of sight without me telling you what I think.
“He's playing here this week and Madrid next week. He obviously thinks that the guys that have been around him are good enough to win the rest of the events that he's playing in.
“I feel like I can win here, China (venue for the WGC - HSBC Champions in November) and Dubai (which hosts the season-ending Dubai World Championship presented by DP World), and that will surely give me enough money to go past him but he still has to play well.”
Despite missing out on his primary target of winning a Major Championship this year, Westwood insists motivation will not be a problem over the closing weeks of the season.
“I set goals for the Majors at the start of the year and then after they have finished, you have to re-evaluate and look at something else to go for,” he explained.
“You always have to have goals to try to achieve. There are a lot of big tournaments left this year, starting with this week.”
Putting has proved a source of frustration for Westwood throughout 2011, but he feels things are now heading in the right direction following sessions with putting guru Phil Kenyon.
“I’ve been working with a new putting coach and I think I clicked on something, so I'm looking forward to playing this week,” he continued.
“The putting to start with is pretty good but the rhythm, we’ve been working on that, which is quite hard to do. It’s quite a big change which may take a bit of getting used to on the course, but I’m seeing a much better roll and truer roll on the ball and more putts going in.
“I've had three or four sessions with Phil now, and each time I've seen improvements and felt like I'm getting used to it.
“Anything could be possible. I haven't really had what I consider a good putting round all year.”
This week’s event, which sees the field play at Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and the Old Course at St Andrews, is among the more popular on the European Tour schedule.
It’s a good week, three excellent golf courses, good playing partners, interesting people from different walks of life, and one I look forward to,” said Westwood. “It's obviously a great tournament to win as well.”