Don’t tell the professional caddies’ organization, but Lee Westwood is doing pretty well without a professional on his bag.
The veteran Englishman is just two shots off Shane Lowry’s lead heading into the third round of the $7 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Westwood is looking for his second win following his split from Billy Foster last year.
Westwood has girlfriend Helen Storey on his bag again this week. She helped him win the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the end of last year, the Englishman’s first European Tour win since the 2014 Maybank Malaysian Open.
“We just go out and have as much fun as we can,” Westwood said after a 4-under 68 moved him to 10 under par. “It’s great fun out there. She keeps it very light hearted for me.”
The 24-time European Tour winner hasn’t sorted out a long-term solution to who will carry his bag this year. Storey will be on the bag again next week in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. He’s also talked about a friend looping for him this season, and perhaps son Sam from time to time.
“I’m just going to chop and change,” he said. “More or less I caddie for myself now, with the yardages and all that. I’m very clear on that in my own mind.”
He’s certainly been clear over the first 36 holes. He’s only made one bogey.
“I felt like I played pretty similar to yesterday,” said Westwood, whose best Abu Dhabi finish is second in 2008. “Hit a lot of good shots, drove the ball pretty well. Like I said yesterday, these fairways aren’t the easiest to hit.
“I wasn’t far off the fairways and had pretty good control of the ball most of the day. I putted nicely again. I was pleased with the way that I played and hit some nice iron shots and controlled everything pretty well.”
Lowry is looking for his fourth European Tour win, and first since the 2015 WGC–Bridgestone Invitational. His 2-under 70 after a course record-equalling 62 moved him to 12 under.
“I knew today was going to be a bit of a weird day after shooting such a low score yesterday,” said Lowry, who is one shot ahead of South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Richard Sterne.
World No. 2 Brooks Koepka is tied for 13th at 7 under par, while Dustin Johnson is tied for 45th at 4 under.