The Open: Lee Westwood confident of contending for major breakthrough at Royal St George’s

Lee Westwood is confident that he can bounce back from a disappointing finish to the abrdn Scottish Open and contend for a long-awaited major breakthrough at The 149th Open.

The 48-year-old was within a shot of the halfway lead in the Rolex Series event and briefly topped the leaderboard during the third round at The Renaissance Club, only to slip out of contention with rounds of 71 and 72 over the weekend.

Westwood ended the week tied-35th and nine strokes back from champion Min Woo Lee, with the Englishman believing his game is in a good place ahead of the final men’s major of the year.

“I feel like I’m playing well and obviously I’ve played well this year,” Westwood said. “I played well last week. I was in the lead with 26 holes to go, and then a couple of pulls and a double bogey, par, double bogey and couldn’t get any momentum going after that.

“When you are at 14 under with 26 holes to go and 18 under is winning it, you should fancy your chances then, but obviously I didn’t manage to finish that one off. I kind of look back on last week and take the positives out of it, that the form is there and I’m playing well and I’m making birdies.

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“Coming into this week, I’ve played here twice in the Open Championship, missed the cut both times. I had it in my head a bit of a mental block that I didn’t like the golf course, but played it yesterday and really enjoyed it and loved the way it was set up.

“I’m positive and hoping I can find some form and get into contention. Like all links tournaments, you need a little bit of luck with the weather, and like golf, you need a little bit of luck, you need some good breaks.”

Westwood has featured in every edition of The Open since his debut in 1995 and makes his 88th major start this week in Kent, where a failure to win would result in him breaking Jay Haas’ record for most major appearances without a victory.

“I do care about that [the record],” Westwood added. “That’s nice, that record. It shows I’ve been a good player for a long, long time. There’s not many people who have played in as many major championships as me.

“I think everybody missed The Open Championship last year, watching it on TV or playing it. It’s good to be back. It’s a massive championship, my favourite of the year, and I’m delighted to be back and playing well and hopefully having a chance to contend this week.”

Watch The 149th Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 6.30am on Sky Sports’ dedicated channel – Sky Sports The Open.

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