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Westwood bent on British Open breakthrough
Darren Walton
16:56 AEST Wed Jul 18 2012

Home fans shouldn't be concerned or fooled by Lee Westwood's supremely relaxed demeanour on the eve of the British Open.

Scratch beneath the surface and there lies a steely resolve to shed his tag as the best golfer never to win a major and provide England with its first home-grown champion since Nick Faldo at Muirfield 20 years ago.

Westwood has been hammering on to the door, posting seven top-three finishes at the majors in the past four years, including a runner-up showing at the Open at St Andrews in 2010.

And he openly admits to being desperate to break through this week at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

"This is the biggest championship in the world for me. It would obviously mean a lot," said world No.3 Westwood.

"I haven't won a major yet and I'd like to win one .... or two ... or three."

The 39-year-old was in a jovial mood at his pre-tournament media conference, joking with reporters at any opportunity, while he also spent the weekend casually playing a round with his father and carrying his own bag.

With his laser-like iron play certain to be an advantage around the dangerously tight Lytham layout, Westwood is many good judges' favourite to kiss the Claret Jug.

He seems sure to at least be a factor come Sunday, but insists he's feeling no pressure to deliver.

"Yeah, I'm fairly relaxed. I'm always pretty relaxed now. There's not a lot that gets to me, winds me up," Westwood said.

But questioning his short game certainly appears to wind him up and the Englishman quickly switched to combat mode when asked about the perceived chink in his armour.

"I don't think you can get to number one in the world without much of a short game," Westwood fired.

"The thing with professional golf is you're an individual so you're lined up there for people to have a look at your game and take criticisms and if you're at the top of the world rankings, people are going to compare different aspects of your game to other people in the top of the world rankings.

"Those people up there have got strengths and they've got weaknesses.

"(World No.1 ) Luke (Donald's) strengths are from 80 yards in. My strengths are tee to green.

"But you've got to understand that people are going to have strengths and people are going to have weaknesses and you can't be the best in the world at everything.

"Otherwise you'd be miles in front," Westwood added, giving the clear impression that's exactly where he'd like to be late Sunday afternoon.


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