Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Lighter Way for Major Win; Slimline Westwood Plots His Course for USPGA

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Lighter Way for Major Win; Slimline Westwood Plots His Course for USPGA

Article excerpt

LEE Westwood presented a new image to the world yesterday - lighter in body, much lighter in his approach to his career. It was almost a laugh-a-minute routine at the USPGA Championship in Atlanta as England's world number two tried to take some of the pressure off his pursuit of a first major.

First of all Westwood, who has shed nine pounds by upping his training and cutting out "all the stuff that tastes nice unfortunately", could not remember surviving the cut on the same course 10 years ago. Told he had finished 44th he said: "Are you sure? Check that. Let's have a look - I don't think I made any cuts in 2001."

Shown the proof in the record books the Worksop golfer, who represents Tyneside club Close House, added: "I played nicely in 2001 and shot a couple of 68s, really loved the course and happy to be back. Good memories!" Then, told about Rory McIlroy being impressed by his weight-lifting, Westwood replied: "I set two PBs (personal bests) last week - 354 pounds dead lift. A Chubby and a quarter."

The "Chubby" in question is their manager Andrew Chandler, who has the chance this week to complete his stable's own "Slam" of all four majors this season following the victories by Charl Schwartzel (Masters), McIlroy (US Open) and Darren Clarke (Open).

Westwood's more light-hearted approach comes after talking with American sports psychologist Bob Rotella, one of the people behind Clarke's success at Sandwich.

"I haven't really worked with a psychologist at all throughout my career, so it just made sense to go and consult somebody. Darren is a good one to consult with regards to which psychologist would be the best, having been through all of them pretty much."

Westwood and Clarke were both playing their 54th major last month and while one triumphed the other missed the cut.

Poor putting was the main reason for that and on that front Westwood has turned, just like McIlroy has, to American Dave Stockton.

He and Rotella have both been emphasising the need to be more relaxed. "You'll see me not trying," he said. "When you get into those positions, just enjoy it and have a free, clear mind - and play like it doesn't really mean anything. …

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