Lee Westwood focuses on swing, not score, at Omega Dubai Desert Classic

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 24: Lee Westwood of England takes his tee shot on hole seven during Day One of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on January 24, 2019 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Lee Westwood focuses on swing, not score, at Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Euro Tour

Lee Westwood focuses on swing, not score, at Omega Dubai Desert Classic

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It isn’t surprising to hear Lee Westwood say he doesn’t care what score he shoots nowadays – the Englishman has always marched to his own tune.

Westwood stepped of the golf course after an opening 5-under 67 in the $3.25 million Omega Dubai Desert Classic and announced that his score was inconsequential.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying my hardest but I don’t care where the ball goes, I don’t care what I shoot,” said the 24-time European Tour winner who is two shots off Matthew Fitzpatrick’s lead.

“The consequences of the way I play don’t bother me anymore. I’m purely about what I’m working on and going out there and trying to do that over every shot.

“(I’m) just gradually getting into the mindset that you can’t control where the ball goes, only what you’re doing with your swing.”

Westwood, a 45-year-old veteran, seems to have found a new lease of life since girlfriend Helen Storey took over caddie duties after Westwood split with long time bagman Billy Foster.

“When you break it all down and look at the facts – where we’re playing, what we’re playing for, the golf courses we’re playing on, the weather we’re playing in – there’s no reason really not to be happy.

“Obviously I’ve got Helen, my girlfriend, on the golf bag, and she makes a big difference to my attitude out there.

“She doesn’t know that much about golf. She knows a fair few little bits but she knows a lot about me and what to say and to keep it light-hearted and things like that, and it’s really entertaining out there.”

Westwood has a reputation for doing exactly what he wants, when he wants. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, speaks his mind when he feels like it, or sometimes just keeps schtum if he can’t be bothered to get involved in certain issues. It sometimes makes interviewing him a chore since you’re never sure what sort of mood he shares. He can light up a room with gags, or he can bring a press conference to a juddering halt with monosyllabic answers.

One thing he can still do is play at the highest level, as he proved by winning the $7.5 million Nedbank Golf Challenge at the end of last season.

What he hasn’t achieved among his 44 victories worldwide is win one of those things called majors. He’s been close in the tournaments that really matter, and many believe a major victory would punctuate a great career.

Wonder if Westwood will still not care what he shoots if he’s in contention in one of the four blue chip events this year?

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