- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 9, 2011

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Lee Westwood is trying as hard as ever to win a major, the missing piece to what has turned into a stellar career.

His goal at the PGA Championship is not to try so hard.

“I’ve done all the hard work now, done it for 20 years,” Westwood said Tuesday. “It’s time to relax and let it flow.”

He comes to Atlanta Athletic Club at No. 2 in the world behind Luke Donald. Not many would dispute that Westwood is No. 1 when it comes to wearing the label as best to have never won a major.


“It’s good to be the best at something, I suppose,” he said.

Westwood had putts on the final hole of the 2008 U.S. Open and 2009 British Open to get into a playoff. He had the lead going into the final round of the 2010 Masters. The attention on Westwood without a major only intensified when his best friend, Darren Clarke, won the British Open last month at Royal St. George’s.

That makes four of the past five majors for players who are represented by Chubby Chandler at International Sports Management. Who could have believed that group would not include Westwood?

Westwood said he would treat this week just like any other, no matter the size of the Wanamaker Trophy.

“It’s four rounds of golf, same as the Indonesian Masters,” Westwood said, alluding to the Asian Tour event he won in May to briefly return to No. 1 in the world.

Now, he appears to be paying attention to what is working for his stable mates.

Westwood recently started working on his putting with Dave Stockton, the two-time PGA champion considered to be among the best when it comes to teaching the most important part of the game. More surprising is that Westwood, who has been suspicious of what sports psychologists have to offer, is now spending time with Bob Rotella.

Rory McIlroy started working with Stockton in May, a month before his record-setting win in the U.S. Open at Congressional. Clarke, who had fallen out of the top 100 in the world, began working again with Rotella before the British Open.

Might it work for Westwood?

“I’ve ticked pretty much every other box, and it’s got me to a very high level,” Westwood said. “To get to No. 1 in the world [he has been there longer than anyone this year], you have to be doing most things right. Putting would be the top of the priority list with regard to room for improvement.”