Westwood eager to make winning return to England

5/22/2013 1:14:54 PM
Lee Westwood  (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood (Getty Images)
Lee Westwood is keen to mark his homecoming with victory at Wentworth Club as he looks to build on his impressive BMW PGA Championship record.

Having relocated with his family to America last year, Westwood is back on English soil for the first time since October and keen to land a first win at a tournament where he has finished second twice and previously recorded seven top-ten finishes.

“It’s my first time back in England since October, so it's nice to be back,” said the 40 year old Ryder Cup star.

“Nice to play a tournament in England - we don't get an opportunity very often, so I suppose it's nice in a way that the Flagship Event of The European Tour is in England and back here at Wentworth.

“Hopefully I’ll play well, carry on the form that I've got going and go one better than two years ago where I lost in the play-off. 

“I enjoy coming back to England and playing in front of the home crowd. It's special to play in front of home fans and like I say, especially around somewhere like Wentworth where it's iconic and the tournament is held here every year; the PGA Championship is associated with here, and there's a familiarity about the place with all of the players. 

“I suppose coming home you just want to put on a good show this week and make The Tour look good.”

While Westwood’s primary focus is on marking his 20th appearance in The European Tour’s flagship event with victory, the Englishman also has an eye on the year’s second Major Championship next month.

The US Open Championship takes place at a Merion course Westwood is yet to play, but the 22-time European Tour believes he is contention to land a first Major after making significant improvements to his short game.

“What's let me down in Major Championships in recent years has been my short game, and since I've moved to the States, I've gone from 190th in scrambling to fifth,” he added.

“I did a little bit of work with Tony Johnstone around August last year, but I only worked with him for two or three weeks, and then basically I've just done it myself - just practised hard. 

“Unfortunately it's made my long game go off a bit but it's gradually coming back. I've gone from 80 per cent practise on my long game and 20 per cent practise on my short game to 80 per cent practise on my short game and 20 per cent practise on my long game, and obviously my long game suffered slightly.

“So I'm just trying to find a balance of the practise time at the moment for it and to get the maximum out of all my game, but I don't think it's going to be long before my long game comes around.”