Lee Westwood hopes that receiving an OBE from the Queen will help spur him on to win his first major tournament this year.
The 38-year-old from Worksop, who was world No 1 for a five-week spell last year, has his eyes on the US Masters in April.
Westwood was at Buckingham Palace yesterday to receive the award, which was included in the New Year Honours List.
“Hopefully I’ll win it,” he said of the Masters. “I think this year could be it. I’m playing well and getting my game together. I’ve been working hard and putting in a lot of preparation. Hopefully all that will click into place.”
Having recently returned from a three-week spell playing in the Middle East, Westwood is about to travel to the US, and said: “The Queen spoke to me about travelling, where I’ve been recently and where I’m going. I’m sure I don’t do as much travelling as she does though.
“I’ve played golf with Prince Andrew before, so perhaps the Queen has an interest. I would have preferred to speak to her about horseracing though, but I didn’t have the chance.”
He said of the honour: “It’s amazing really. I can’t quite believe it. You don’t imagine, when you start playing the sport you love, that you will end up receiving an award for it.”