Written by
Joy Chakravarty
Jun 20 2024

COLLEGE GROVE, Tenn. – Lee Westwood can feel his form coming back, and that could lift his Majesticks GC to greater heights this week at LIV Golf Nashville.

The 51-year-old Co-Captain made a welcome return to form in Houston, where he was tied 18th with solid rounds of 69, 72 and 70. It ensured that Westwood finished in the points for the first time this season, and the England ace is confident of producing some more of that form starting Friday.

With a new caddy on the bag this week – his wife Helen taking over from Mick Doran just for this tournament – there will be an added motivation for Westwood. Helen and Lee have a beautiful partnership on and off the golf course. Together, they have won the 2018 Nedbank Challenge and by finishing second at the 2020 DP World Tour Championship, they sealed a third Order of Merit crown for Westwood.

“Yes…I can sense something turning around in my game. I’m starting to get better, starting to feel more comfortable on the course,” said Westwood. “My short game still needs a bit of work put in, but it was better.”

A crucial bounceback for Westwood came in the first round of Houston. He had started brilliantly, making a birdie on his opening hole and then an eagle on the third (13th of the course), but from 4-under through 12 holes, he made a bogey and a double on the 5th and 6th holes.

The round seemed to be slipping away, but a determined Westwood made back-to-back birdies on the 7th and 8th holes to finish the day on 3-under par.

“It was important. It’s obviously nice to bounce back after a bogey and a double bogey. To make those two birdies straight after, it seemed like a strong finish and it gave me momentum for the rest of the week,” said Westwood.

The former world No.1 felt it was imperative for Majesticks to get off the blocks quickly to get into contention if they wanted to fight for a podium finish.

“We just need to get off to a fast start,” said Westwood. “I don’t think any of us has really come out of the blocks flying. And in this format, where we play only three rounds, it’s so difficult to catch up when you start slowly.”

With most of the US in the grips of a severe heatwave, another focus would be to look after the body properly. Weather warning is in place for Nashville, with the metrological department predicting moderate risks on Friday, climbing to a major alert on Sunday.

“I haven’t played The Grove before, and haven’t played it yet, but I’ve heard that it is a good golf course. It's obviously going to be a very hot week,” said the Englishman.

“So, I think the most important thing would be to manage your energy levels. It will require a lot of drinks, plenty of water and electrolytes, and looking after yourself so that you stay concentrated all through the three rounds.

“The golf course is not ridiculously long, so that is something that might play into our hands a little bit more. Hopefully, we have a good week collectively.”