LEE Westwood admits that golf has taken a back seat since he split from his Scots wife, Laurae, but he is confident he can start climbing the world rankings again when the race for Ryder Cup spots begins to hot up.
It emerged in July that Westwood, a former world No 1 but now sitting 44th in the global standings, had separated from Laurae, who is Andrew Coltart’s sister, after 16 years of marriage.
“Unfortunately, this year I’ve not really had time or been able to put the hard work into my game, so it’s no surprise that it has suffered a little bit,” confessed the 42-year-old as he prepared to tee up on home soil in the British Masters at Woburn. “We know how mental the game of golf is, as well, so there’s been a lot going on which has affected me in the head. I won’t lie, golf doesn’t mean as much to me now as it did five or ten years ago.”
The change in his personal circumstances means that Westwood, back living in Britain after leaving the family home in Florida, will now be concentrating mainly on the European Tour, where he returned to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last week after a four-year absence. “Living in the States didn’t really move me in the direction I wanted it to. But obviously that’s not the reason I’m doing all this. Basically it’s from a personal point of view,” he admitted.
On his hopes of making next year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, the Englishman added: “I’ve got a 42-year-old’s niggles, but I’m in pretty good shape. I would like to keep going as it probably gives you the biggest buzz of any golf event.”