Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Westwood Still Searching? for His Major Day in the Sun

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Westwood Still Searching? for His Major Day in the Sun

Article excerpt

Lee Westwood came back at 7:30 a.m. Friday to finish his final four holes of the weather-suspended first round. And he wasn't exactly brimming with

confidence when he stood on the sixth tee, dark clouds, appropriately, hanging over his head.

"You stand on that tee, with four holes to play, you're not really looking at too many birdie chances in those holes," Westwood said.

But a strange thing happened to Westwood on his way back to the clubhouse. He made two birdies on the finishing holes ? from 12 feet at the par-3 eighth and a 5-footer at No. 9 ? and found himself back in a familiar position ? on the leader board at the U.S. Open. He finished the first round at 3-under 67, one shot behind 18-hole leader Andrew Landry.

"To walk off 2-under par for those four holes was obviously very satisfying and a great way to finish the round off," Westwood said.

That Westwood, once the No. 1-ranked player in the world, was high on a leader board in a major championship is nothing new. He has been in position to win more than his share of major titles, even on Sunday. The problem is, he never finishes high enough.

Westwood is golf's version of the city of Cleveland. He is 0 for 72 in major championships. No active player has endured a longer drought in tournaments that matter the most. Maybe the Penguins should have invited him to the parade Wednesday to let him know what it feels like to win a championship.

Sergio Garcia might be the highest-earning player on the PGA Tour ($42 million) without a major championship. But he is 0 for 70 in majors, two behind Westwood.

"I've been playing really nicely; I've been playing well," Westwood said. "I was really looking forward to coming back to Oakmont. I had a good experience here the last time. I like a challenge. This golf course is certainly a challenge. It tests you mentally. …

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