Lee Westwood in position at KLM Open to break winless drought

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Lee Westwood in position at KLM Open to break winless drought

Euro Tour

Lee Westwood in position at KLM Open to break winless drought

Lee Westwood could be on the verge of ending one of the longest winless streaks of his career.

The Englishman hasn’t won a European Tour event since the 2014 Maybank Malaysian Open. However, don’t be surprised if Westwood turns this week’s $2.1 million KLM Open into his 24th European Tour win.

Westwood lurks near the top of the leaderboard after returning a 6-under 65, arguably the easiest 65 he’s ever shot. He’s in joint fourth place at 7 under, three shots behind Joel Stalter. The Frenchman added a 67 to this opening 65 to stand at 10 under.

Kieradech Aphibarnrat is in second place at 9 under after matching Westwood’s score. Germany’s Sebastian Heisele is in solo third spot at 8 under.

Westwood’s second-round effort was starkly different from his opening 1-under 70.

“The first round was just kind of steady,” Westwood said. “I didn’t really hit it close enough so I didn’t have that many real chances for birdie, and then the second round was a lot better. I did hit it close, made a few good putts and I also burned the hole a lot. That 65 for the second round could easily have been 61.”

The 44-year-old has had a steady season but hasn’t really threatened to add to his 23 European Tour titles. Although he’s only missed two cuts, he’s had just three top 10s, with an eighth place in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January his best effort of the year.

He finished ninth two weeks ago in the European Masters in Switzerland, and has replicated that form in The Netherlands.

“I am hitting the ball well. I have got my distance control back and the strike is getting better and better,” he said. “I’m driving the ball in the fairway, too, which you obviously need to do and I feel like I am rolling the ball well on the greens so hopefully we can see a few more putts drop over the weekend.

“If I can play like I did in the second round today then I’ll have a chance over the weekend, so the plan will be to try and replicate what I did out there today. Ross (Fisher) just said to me in the scorer’s hut that my round was one of the easiest 65s he has seen in a long time which is a nice compliment and one that I’ll try and take into the weekend.”

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