By Paul Myers
Lee Westwood may be the current holder of the undesirable title of ‘Best Player Never to Win a Major’. While that might be true, it really isn’t fair to Westwood who has had an incredible career all around the world. Westwood has been a prominent figure on the world golf scene for a long time, and should still have many good years ahead as he is just 41 years old. Perhaps one day Westwood will manage to take home a major title, but even if that is not to be, he can still be long remembered as one of the finest golfers of his era.
Consistency without a Major Title
As a demonstration of the quality of his game and the ability that he has to compete with the world’s best, Westwood has posted top-5 finishes at each of the four majors at one point during his career. There aren’t very major golfers that can lay claim to that accomplishment, even if Westwood would likely trade all of them for just one title. Of course, when he take a look at his trophy case, it certainly isn’t bare – Westwood has amassed 40 pro titles over his career.
A Strong Ball Striker
Long known by some as one of the best ball strikers in the world, Westwood still has plenty of power left in the tank despite being on the north side of 40. During the 2014 PGA Tour season, Westwood has averaged 115.48 MPH on his driver swings. That ranks 58th on Tour, which is above average by PGA Tour standards. While that doesn’t make him among the ‘bombers’ on Tour, it does provide him with plenty of distance considering the accuracy that he is able to pair it with. This valuable combination of power and clean ball striking is one of the reasons that Westwood has been able to perform so well at the major championships throughout his career.
An Easy Captain’s Pick
A captain’s pick for the 2014 Ryder Cup, there is one obvious thing that Westwood will bring to the European team beyond his golf skills – experience. The 2014 Ryder Cup will be the ninth in his career, so it is safe to say he has “seen it all” – from the Americans comeback at Brookline in ‘99 to the European rally at Medinah in 2012. Some observers would agree that Europe has the talent advantage over the United States anyway, but adding Westwood’s experience and knowledge of this event should only serve to help.
Lee Westwood has plenty of power to hold his own off the tee on the PGA Tour, but power isn’t the only thing that keeps him among the best in the world. His ball striking is incredibly consistent, and his short game is good as well. Westwood certainly doesn’t need to accomplish anything else in golf to have had a wonderful career, but a single major title could surely take him into another level of history. Likely with several more years of good golf expected to be ahead of him, that elusive major title is still out there just waiting for him to grab.
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