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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!).


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.


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