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Westwood deserves taste of major success

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Martin Laird | 20:47 UK time, Thursday, 20 May 2010

It's great to see such a strong European contingent in the top 10 in the world right now, with Lee Westwood leading the way at number three.

His performances over the last few years, especially in the majors, show that he is very deserving of that ranking.

To finish in the top three in three consecutive majors is a fantastic achievement and shows just how good Lee is playing.

It makes it even more unbelievable that, at one point, he had slipped all the way down to 250th in the world.

Golf is such a mental game that, when you get it going the wrong way, it's hard to turn it around quickly. It's all about how you rebound from the struggles and you hope you can come back like Lee did, better than ever.

I'm sure Lee wishes he could get his hands on one of those major trophies. But, if he keeps playing the way he is, it won't be long before it's his time.

I'm sure there will be more than one in his trophy cabinet by the time he's done. He's just too good and consistent a player for it not to happen.

World golf rankings only really matter when you are inside the top 50 in the world. If you are inside the top 50, you are pretty much eligible for any tournament in the world. But, most importantly, it gets you in all the majors and World Golf Championship events.

I really don't pay any attention to rankings right now as I know I need to have a nice run of performances before I'll be challenging for a top-50 spot. I don't monitor it on a weekly basis and actually checked my ranking for the first time in a month or so when writing this blog (currently 105th!).

westwood595.jpg

I've always said that my goal is to improve every year and, if I continue to work hard and do that, I will eventually be where I want to be. I know that some players may have goals to reach a certain ranking, but I'm pretty sure that most players don't monitor them too closely.

When I won last year in Las Vegas, the most surprising and positive thing I took from winning was how calm I felt coming down the stretch. That proved to me that I belong in that position and I know that, if I have the chance to win again, I can pull it off.

The next time I'm in contention, I'll try to react the same, although I'm sure it would be a lot different if it was a major. I would definitely try to stay as calm as possible, but you only need to look at players in contention coming down the stretch in majors to see how hard that is. It's the pinnacle of our sport to win a major and everyone knows that when trying to win one!

For me, the key to seeing a win through is believing in yourself. Golf is all about trusting your ability and there's not a time that you need to do that more than when you're under pressure in the final round.

If you start to doubt yourself coming down the stretch then its game over as the pressure will get to you and magnify any errors. It's what you practice so hard for and that's when the hard work pays off the most.

It's so hard to win a golf tournament that sometimes the only difference between finishing first or second is a good or bad bounce on one of the final holes.

When there are so many things involved in winning, you can't be too hard on yourself when you have a close call.

I would rather barely miss out any day than finish a few shots back and not have had the chance to win coming down the stretch. It's the pressure and close calls that drive me and make me want to work harder - so you succeed the next time.

Comments

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  • 1. At 7:28pm on 21 May 2010, ScotCanSteve wrote:

    I was a member at Hilton Park GC (Martin's Glasgow area golf club) in the 60's, and have been following his career with interest. It is great to see the Saltire regularly on the PGA webpage leader board. I am looking forward to seeing Martin at the Canadian Open (is he playing?). What are the areas of weakness that he is working on? How about more details of his day-to-day experiences and challenges. A bit more personal (less Scottish, more American?). We already get so much evaluation of stars like Lee Westwood, but not enough about the inside story of young players like Martin.
    Best wishes to a great Scot!

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  • 2. At 9:46pm on 21 May 2010, alisus wrote:

    Hi Martin, just followed you on the PGAtour.com shot tracker. What a great finish you produced to beat the cut in the Byron Nelson. You can obviously make birdies and I feel that if you consolodate your position here then that will stand you in good stead for your goal of gradual improvement on a weekly basis. What is the course like? Does it suit you|?

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  • 3. At 11:45pm on 22 May 2010, ScotCanSteve wrote:

    Martin,
    What is your playing schedule for the rest of the year?

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  • 4. At 00:00am on 24 May 2010, Martin Laird - BBC Sport wrote:

    ScotCanSteve - I am playing the next two weeks in the Colonial and Memorial tournaments. I have the qualifiers for the US Open and Open Championships over the next couple of weeks too and how they go will decide my schedule for the rest of the summer. I will be back in Scotland playing in the Barclay's Scottish Open again this summer and can not wait to get back home to play again.

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  • 5. At 7:20pm on 24 May 2010, lawson1872 wrote:

    Hi Martin.

    I've been following your progress closely over the last couple of years, it's great to see you doing so well. Followed you at Loch Lomond last year on the final day, was very impressed with how you battled back after a rather dissapointing front 9. Unfortunately I don't think I'll make it along this year, so hopefully you can qualify for St Andrews and I'll be there to cheer you on!

    As I type you are probably trying to qualify for the US Open. Fingers crossed for you!



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  • 6. At 11:09pm on 24 May 2010, Douglas457 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 01:11am on 25 May 2010, kwiniaskagolfer wrote:

    69 - 63 = 132.
    Magnificent! Congratulations!!
    Sounds like you'll be spending a few weeks in Europe.
    Wish you every success.

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  • 8. At 01:37am on 25 May 2010, Douglas457 wrote:

    Congratulations Martin on qualifying for the Open - great second round.

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  • 9. At 10:11am on 25 May 2010, Lairdy wrote:

    Well done Martin! Shooting low like that when it counts is superb stuff.

    Hope to follow you in July.

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  • 10. At 12:58pm on 25 May 2010, lawson1872 wrote:

    My wrong, I thought it was the US Open qualifying this week.

    But well done on qualifying for THE Open, shooting 63 under that pressure is fantastic.

    Now time to try and get time off work so I can follow you at St Andrews!

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  • 11. At 3:08pm on 25 May 2010, ScotCanSteve wrote:

    Congratulations on qualifying for St. Andrews.

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