HE’S got a new caddie and a new home in the United States. Lee Westwood hopes those changes translate into victories this year, starting with the Dubai Desert Classic which begins tomorrow.
After missing the cut at the US PGA Championship last year, Westwood split from coach Pete Cowen and temporary caddie Mike Waite. Mike Kerr, normally on the bag for Alvaro Quiros, took over. Westwood also moved to Florida with his family in December after rejoining the US PGA Tour in 2012.
The move to Florida, Westwood said, has allowed him to play much more golf in the off-season – he was out last week with Luke Donald – than he’s done in the past.
“I feel like I’m coming out running,” Westwood said, adding that his short game and putting have shown the most improvement. “Hopefully, I will be competitive,” he said. “We’ve seen recently some of the best players struggling to find their competitive edge. I feel like I’m playing well and I have a chance.”
Westwood, who turns 40 this year, said it seemed “like the right time” to move to the United States. He said his two children, who were eight and 11, were young enough to make the adjustment to a new school and the new location allows him to play more on the US Tour without being away from his family for long periods.
“I played the PGA Tour last year and really enjoyed it and fancied a new challenge with the family,” Westwood said.