Rolex Series

Westwood making himself at home in Scotland

Lee Westwood may be from south of the border but he was feeling right at home as he posted an opening 65 at the 2021 abrdn Scottish Open.

Lee Westwood

The Englishman is already a two time Rolex Series winner and claimed one of his remarkable 25 European Tour wins at this event 23 years ago.

That victory at Loch Lomond Golf Club may not have been over a links layout but Westwood is also a winner of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and has five top fives in The Open Championship, so knows a thing or two about playing on the UK coastline.

The reigning Race to Dubai champion is particularly familiar with The Renaissance Club from his time living in Edinburgh, and he utilised that experience in a bogey free effort that left him at six under.

"I played it a lot when I lived in Edinburgh a few years ago, they were kind enough to make me an honorary member here and I came and practised a lot, and the guys are kind to me and have looked after me," he said. "I know the golf course really well.

"So I read the greens pretty well here and that was the kind of day it was out there today. You're going to have a lot of chances. You've got to make your fair share. Obviously not all of them are going to go in, so you can't get too frustrated.

"First round last year, I shot nine under par. Almost get confidence from that but try and ignore it as well. Don't have a total in your mind because you're never quite sure. 

"I'm happy with 65, six under par and it's a good score to build on for the rest of the week."

Tommy Fleetwood is another fine links player, having lost a play-off here last season and finished second at the 2019 Open, and he was a shot behind Westwood after carding seven birdies and two bogeys.

"I'm from a links town," he said. "I grew up on the only parkland course in the town pretty much but I've played a lot of links golf in my life and I do feel comfortable out there, whatever the conditions.

"You get a beautiful morning like today and it's a pleasure to be out there and at the same time, the harder the conditions get, I kind of enjoy that in a sick way as well, the different skills that that requires.

"I've always felt good and at home on links golf and, at the end of the day, my favourite tournament in the world is always on a links course. Hopefully one day that can be mine."

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