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Wednesday, 08 May 2019
Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood (Getty Images)

Lee Westwood will look to take inspiration from Liverpool’s Champions League triumph over Barcelona as he seeks a second Betfred British Masters title at Hillside Golf Club.

Westwood was one of several European Tour members among the crowd at Anfield on Tuesday as Jurgen Klopp’s side overturned a 3-0 deficit from the first leg to book their place in the final in Madrid on June 1.

“I think it’s one of those that you’ll sit down with your grandkids and you say, ‘I was there that night’,” Westwood said. “I think it’s that big.

“Just an incredible turnaround and you would never have sort of thought it was going to happen. But you always sort of hold out hope that they might shake things up a bit and get some momentum.”

Westwood compared the win with the Miracle at Medinah at The Ryder Cup in 2012, when Europe recovered from 10-4 down to defeat the United States, adding: “You kind of think this is not going to happen but let’s give them a scare, and all of a sudden the momentum goes with you and the crowd get on your side and it was incredible.”

At 46 years of age, Westwood has played most of the top courses in his native England and is relishing competing at a venue where he won a 36-hole amateur event as a teenager more than a quarter of a century ago, at a tournament close to his heart.

“I won the Pines Trophy in 1990 and I think I won by six,” he said. “It was a tricky day and I think the first bogey I made was on the 15th in the afternoon.

"I’ve always played it and thought it was every bit as good as next door (Royal Birkdale). I think it’s one of those hidden gems that a lot of people don’t play, but if they can they just love playing it.

"Seve is a past winner (of the British Masters) and Greg Norman a past winner, so two heroes of mine growing up, and players I've wanted to emulate. 

"It's always been played on some great venues and always attracts a great field and great fans that really seem to enjoy coming to this tournament and supporting it."

I know when I have a week on and I’m playing well and my game is in good shape I can still contend at any level - Lee Westwood

The former World Number One claimed a first Rolex Series victory and 24th European Tour win at last season's Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player, and sees no reason why he cannot add to that remarkable tally.

“I’ve only played two tournaments in nearly three months, so I’m looking forward to playing," he added. "I’ve been playing a bit recently and the game is there or thereabouts, now we’ll see how it holds up in competition.

“I’m not the person that I was 20 years ago, physically and mentally. I can’t really compare myself to the Lee Westwood of the late 90s or even 2000s.

“But I know when I have a week on and I’m playing well and my game is in good shape I can still contend at any level, so I’ve still got ambitions in the game.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KINHULT, MarcusSWE18-16
T2WALLACE, MattENG18-15
T2PEPPERELL, EddieENG18-15
T2MACINTYRE, RobertSCO18-15
5RAMSAY, RichieSCO18-12
T6WARING, PaulENG18-11

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