Wells Fargo notes: Westwood makes a run
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Lee Westwood was nine shots off Webb Simpson's lead when the final round started.
Westwood teed off 90 minutes earlier than Simpson and didn’t really think he had a chance. But as the day progressed, the Englishman started to feel it.
Making three birdies and an eagle at the par-5 7th hole, Westwood would turn in 30 and move within striking distance at 11 under.
But the back nine proved to be a bit more difficult for Westwood, and finished at 11 under - including 10 under on Saturday and Sunday.
“It was a great front nine, wasn't it? (It) put me in with a chance of winning the tournament,” Westwood said afterwards. “There's some brutal flags out there on that back nine, and it's been tough. Wind is swirling a little bit, and the greens are just getting faster. Yeah, you'd like to attack around this golf course, but it just won't allow it sometimes.”
Westwood now makes the trip to Ponte Vedra Beach and the Players with nothing but good vibes after a third at the Masters, a win in Indonesia and a fifth at Quail Hollow.
“Next week is a golf course I love playing,” Westwood said of TPC Sawgrass, site of the Players after a year hiatus. “It suits my game. I've been in with a chance two or three times around there, so yeah, I'm looking forward to next week.”
• HOT, HOT, HOT: Ben Curtis is on a pretty good role. After winning the Valero Texas Open for his fourth win in his career, the 2003 Open Champion continued to play well with a 13th-place finish in New Orleans and then a fifth-place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship.
It is possibly one of his better stretches coming into the Players, a course that suits his game very well.
“Obviously playing well,” Curtis said after a final-round 67. "It felt like I left a lot out there, but then I played the hard holes coming in really well and gained some of that back. It's hard to say. Golf is a funny game.”
Curtis is playing his best golf for an extended stretch since 2008 when he finished second at the then Wachovia Championship and recorded four top-10s in making the U.S. Ryder Cup team and a fifth at the Tour Championship.
Now he will play in his fourth consecutive event, needing a week off, but having to grind instead for one more week.
“It could be a little bit of fatigue and things like that,” Curtis said of what he regarded at poor putting at Quail Hollow. “Just staying positive more than anything. Obviously I must be doing something right. When you're playing well and you miss them, you feel like you should be making them, and when you're not playing so well, you think, maybe if I hit a good putt or something.”
• SHORT SHOTS: The first three rounds produced 15 bogey-free rounds, but in the final round there were none. . . . Nine players have competed in all 10 Wells Fargo Championships: John Senden, Billy Mayfair, Carl Pettersson, J.J. Henry, Stuart Appleby, Charles Howell III, Jeff Maggert, Rory Sabbatini and Vijay Singh. Only Singh has won the event (2005).