“He’s going to caddie for me at the Masters, if I get in,” revealed Westwood, speaking after he’d backed up an opening 66 with an equally pleasing 68 to sit two shots off the lead in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Westwood jnr stays with his mother, Lee’s ex-wife Laurae, in East Lothian, where the George Heriot’s pupil plays most of his golf at The Renaissance Club, venue for this year’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open. His enthusiasm for the game has had a positive effect on his old man.
“Sam has been dragging me out at time when I might not have gone,” admitted Westwood, who sits 63rd in the world rankings after his win in the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa in November. “Also helping is giving him a lesson. He has watched me swinging the club and he has all the same faults. So it’s like giving myself a lesson. I ‘m talking through what I ought to be doing and it is sticking in my head. What I’m working on this week is what I told Sam to work on two weeks ago in Dubai. Just little swing tips that I had forgotten.
“I’m just pleased that he wants to play golf. He didn’t for a while and I understood that. He loves it now. He was out practising at Gullane yesterday and was moaning about the range being closed. I remember those days, scraping snow off the range at Worksop. And moaning about being on temporary greens.
“He’ll be 18 in April - the week of The Masters. I was nearly a tour player at that stage. He’s not all into it like I was. He is more of a rounded person than I was at 18. It was golf, golf, golf for me. He’s doing other things. He’s having different experiences. But, if he wants to focus on it more, he is certainly long enough. He hits it past me now and then. And I see enough good things in his swing that he could become a much better player.”
Westwood is pleased with his position at halfway in the UAE, where Irishman Shane Lowry recovered from two early bogeys to retain his overnight lead, sitting a shot ahead of South African duo Louis Oosthuizen and Richard Sterne.
Bidding for a third straight win in the event, Tommy Fleetwood holed a 15-foot birdie putt at the last to make the cut on three-under.