Written by
Joy Chakravarty
Feb 08 2024

LAS VEGAS – Lee Westwood did not find anything in his swing all of a sudden when he closed the season-opening LIV Golf Mayakoba with four birdies in his last five holes. It was more about getting out of his own way and finding some energy towards the end of the week.

The Majesticks Co-Captain was one of several players and caddies affected by a bout of food poisoning before the start of the tournament. He opened with a 4-over 75, which included a stretch of three holes in the middle of his round in which he dropped four shots, but progressively got better with a 70 on Saturday before his storming finish in the final round.

The 2-under 69 helped him climb to tied 32nd place and gives the 50-year-old Englishman plenty to look forward to at this week’s LIV Golf Las Vegas.

“No, I didn’t find anything really before that stretch. My play was just getting better as the week went on,” said the former world No. 1.

“The first day I didn’t feel very well and didn’t have a lot of sleep the night before. I had a dodgy stomach and then I was kind of getting in my own way on the second day, although I played well.

“Then, on the third day, things just weren’t quite going right for me, but it was just a case of staying patient. Then, towards the end of the round, I could have easily birdied the last five holes. I missed from about three feet on the hole I didn’t birdie. But 4-under for the last five holes was nice and moved up from 5-over (after 14 holes on Friday) to 1-over.

“So, it was a good way to finish up and hopefully, carry that momentum into this week.” Majesticks had a solid weekend in Mayakoba after their difficult start, following up a team total of 4-over on Friday with 6-under and 5-under, but that was good only for a ninth place finish. However, the four-time DP World Tour Golfer of the Year feels this week’s Las Vegas Country Club gives his team a great chance to record its first podium finish since racking up three top-threes in the first four tournaments of LIV Golf history in 2022.

“It’s definitely not a bomber’s course. It’s quite tight and fairly short,” said Westwood of Edmund Ault’s tree-lined design that was opened for play in 1967. “If you can hit the driver a lot, then you can really take advantage on some of these holes in getting close to the greens. I’d say it quite suits the Majestics.

Like I said, it’s pretty tight and pretty much all of us are straight hitters. Yeah, why wouldn’t it suit us?” Sam Horsfield, who missed a majority of the season after undergoing a hip surgery, was the best-placed among the Majesticks in Mayakoba. He was tied 17th at 3-under par total and his performance would be a major source of joy for Westwood and co-Captain Ian Poulter (T28th) and Henrik Stenson (T36th). Westwood is paired with Torque’s Carlos Ortiz and RangeGoats’ Peter Uihlein and will start from the 15th tee on Thursday.

Poulter goes out with Harold Varner III and Stingers’ Captain Louis Oosthuizen from the 4th hole. Stenson is drawn with South African Branden Grace and Crushers’ Charles Howell III from the 17th tee. Horsfield starts his Vegas campaign on the 11th tee alongside Matthew Wolff and Richard Bland. LIV Golf Las Vegas is being played from Thursday to Saturday.