- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2009

From combined dispatches

TURNBERRY, Scotland | Two years. Two putts to get into a playoff. Two misses.

Only this time Lee Westwood didn’t know it.

After playing an astonishing shot from a deep fairway bunker at the final hole at Turnberry on Sunday, the 36-year-old Englishman left himself with a long birdie putt he thought he needed to stay in contention for the Open.

At last year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, he failed to sink a putt on the final green to miss out on the title. On Sunday, the 36-year-old Englishman watched Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson in a playoff after shooting a 1-over 71 in the final round.

With Watson a shot ahead at 3 under going to the last hole, Cink was already in the clubhouse at 2 under. Westwood believed he had to make the 60-foot putt and attacked the pin. He sent it 10 feet past, missed that and slipped out of contention at 1 under.

“I’ve gone from frustration to sickness now,” Westwood said after finishing tied for third.

“I figured - I thought I’d have to hole it, to be perfectly honest,” Westwood said. “I didn’t see Tom bogeying the last, since he’s such an experienced player. But he obviously got a bogey there.”

Five-time British Open winner Watson and Cink were tied at 2-under 278 and headed for the playoff. Westwood, who almost made an 18-foot eagle putt at the 17th, was left to think about another missed chance in a major.

Fisher’s focus flops

After Ross Fisher’s British Open title chances vanished with a quadruple bogey eight at Turnberry on Sunday, he was ready to go home and await his first child.

With his wife, Joanne, already four days late in her pregnancy, Fisher had other things on his mind when he went out as one of the leading contenders in the final round of 138th British Open.

Despite taking the lead with birdies at the first two holes, he ran into the par-4 fifth and his title hopes disappeared in the tangling rough on either side of the fairway.

His tee shot landed in the thick rough on the right, and he was unable to move it more than a few feet with his second. Trying again, he only could hack it over the fairway into the rough on the other side, and he wound up taking a penalty drop.

“It’s a shame, but I fought all the way and just one bad swing and cost me an eight,” the 28-year-old Englishman said. “But that’s golf. I hung in there as best as I could and fought to the end and was hitting good shots.

“Even after the eight I hit a great tee shot what I thought on seven. The wind just never moved it. I hit a great tee shot on eight, and the wind never moved it, and it cost me two bogeys.”

Asked whether he had heard anything from his wife, he said: “No, not yet. I’ve just switched my phone on, so I’ll finish with you guys here and try to get out of here, and hopefully Jo is fine, and fingers crossed, next couple of days I’ll become a dad. So I’m looking forward to it.”

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