The Las Vegas odds for Lee Westwood are 12-1, but after an afternoon news conference, the Englishman could clearly be considered the favorite.
Showing the confidence of a player that has been here before, Westwood had a self-assured air about him going into his 17th Open Championship. He wasn’t concerned that he couldn’t get the job done.
“Try not to have too many expectations,” Westwood said about his prospects for the week. “Just go out there and try my best, really. Hopefully it’s a mathematical progression, third, second, obviously I’m hoping for a first. But we’ll see.”
Westwood has made the cut with a 3rd in 2009 and a runner-up finish to Louis Oosthuizen last year at St. Andrews. In his last 13 majors, he has posted six finishes in the top 3, 10 in the top 25 and only one missed cut at the 2008 PGA.
“I think my form is right where I’d like it to be,” Westwood said. “I’ve been playing well just recently and had a good stretch of results. Yeah, I think this is a week I look forward to all year round. So I try to gear my game up for this week. The form is pretty good. I’m happy with all aspects of my game.”
With both a string of major successes dating back to the end of 2007 and a game Westwood feels is in optimal shape, it’s hard not to put a serious wager on the Englishman.
But, of course, Westwood hasn’t won a big event, and coming close is only good to build on if you eventually get the deal done. So can Westwood make the transition from favorite, which he often is going into majors, or will he continue to have a resume without a major championship?
“I tend not to look at history anymore,” Westwood said. “Just get on with what I need to do and be prepared to play well on that particular week.”
Westwood has been prepared to win and has contended in many majors, but the window could be closing on Westwood. All the positive thoughts in the world cannot overcome age.