Lee Westwood’s British Open hopes have an air of uncertainty
Next to fellow Englishman Justin Rose, Lee Westwood is probably the most in-form golfer on the planet going into the British Open at St Andrews, which happens to start in just under two weeks. His victory at the St. Jude Classic less than a month ago put the rest of the sport on notice that he was going to be a player to watch during the major championships.
Westwood attributed his recent success on the course to one thing, and that’s his ability to get in the fitness trailer and work tirelessly when most players were trying to rest and recuperate. In a Golf World article by John Huggans, Westwood detailed the training regimen he’s gone through to transform his body from a doughy physique to his current athletic build that allowed him to shed 22 pounds.
Given the work he’s put into turning his golf game — and his health — around, the news that Westwood had to withdraw from the JP McManus Pro-Am on Monday had to leave many wondering if a recent leg injury could derail the British Open hopes for one of the game’s hottest players.
As Martin Dempster noted in The Scotsman, Westwood is fighting a race against time to play in the British Open:
… Westwood, the world No 3 was having intensive treatment to his right calf after limping through last week’s French Open in Paris.
The Englishman, who lost by a shot at Turnberry last year and was runner-up in The Masters in April, feared he might have had a blood clot or deep vein thrombosis after an on-course examination at Le Golf National. Hospital tests put his mind at rest on that, but Westwood was hardly able to put any weight on the leg towards the end of his final round and was advised to have an MRI scan.
Winner at Loch Lomond in 1998, Westwood pulled out of this week’s Barclays Scottish Open a fortnight ago so that he could prepare properly for the Open Championship, but now his plans to pay an early visit to the Old Course have been thrown into doubt.
The fact that Westwood was unable to put any weight on the leg at one point is very troubling. Given the importance of the weight shift in a golf swing, this is probably the last injury Westwood would want to deal with prior to the third major of the year.
Skipping out on Scottish Open should afford Westwood the necessary time to rest his leg, but it also means he’ll miss the chance to practice at St. Andrews prior to the Open Championship. While I have no idea how Westwood picked up the injury, it is troubling to see him fighting an injury after really dedicating himself to a workout plan that was supposed to cut down on the niggling injuries.