Masters 2012: Lee Westwood admits putting weakness

Westwood admits putting 'weakness'

England's world number three Lee Westwood admitted to having a putting weakness after he missed out on winning a first major at the Masters.

Westwood, 38, shot a final-round 68 to finish tied for third on eight under, two behind winner Bubba Watson who beat Louis Oosthuizen in a play-off.

"The story of the week is you have got to putt well to win the Masters and I haven't," he told BBC Sport.

"It's the weakness of my game and it's costing me tournaments."

The third place was Westwood's sixth top-three finish in his last 10 majors, but he remains without a win in golf's premier tournaments in 56 starts.

"It's frustrating," added the former world number one. "Nothing's dropped for me. I missed an eagle putt on 15 from about six feet and the putt on 18 is the longest I've holed and that was from about 10 feet."

However, he is convinced that once he does find his range with his putter, the victories will follow.

"When you consider the way I putted the first three days there's a lot of positives to take out of it," he stated.

"I work hard on my putting but I can't seem to turn it around but when I do I know I'll win.

"It's a case of grinding away and finding the key to make it click and slip into place."

Fellow Englishman Ian Poulter putted better on the front nine, picking up three birdies to move into contention on five under at the turn.

He knocked in another on the par-five 15th to move to six under before dropping a shot at the last after missing a short par putt to finish seventh.

"I played lovely on the front nine, got myself in position, and I was always looking at the board to see what the guys in front were doing," he said.

"If they got off to a decent start, I think they would have been hard to catch, but they didn't.

"They weren't really going anywhere. So it kind of got a bit interesting around Amen Corner, I played nicely and hit some good shots.

"Really it's just such a shame to three putt the last. It's left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth from what was a really flawless day."

The world number 24 added: "Playing well at Bay Hill [at the Arnold Palmer Invitational] was very, very nice, and I played well again here, so obviously my form I'm carrying right now is good.

"I feel fit, I feel healthy, and it's now getting stronger for the summer. So it looks like it could be a good summer, as well."

Ireland's Padraig Harrington also briefly threatened before his challenge ended with a double-bogey six on the last as he finished in a tie for eighth on four under par.

"It's never nice to finish the way I finished," conceded the three-time major winner.

"I can't believe how quick the green was for what should have been a flat putt but I'm pleased with the way I played.

"You'll struggle to see anyone have the number of short birdie putts I had, I just didn't hit them. I definitely felt like I had a chance all the way to the 18th."

Watson wins Masters play-off