ANTALYA, Turkey (Reuters) - Former world number one Lee Westwood says he must eliminate the “silly scores” that have crept into his game recently in order to push for his first victory of the season at this week’s Turkish Airlines Open.
The 40-year-old Briton has racked up 40 worldwide victories in a stellar career but decided to move to the golfers’ paradise of Florida at the start of the season in an attempt to add to his tally of two wins on the U.S. PGA Tour.
Although Westwood’s short game has shown distinct signs of progress, and he led the British Open after three rounds at Muirfield in July, he has been unable to translate that improvement into tangible success in 2013.
In last week’s WGC-Champions Tournament in Shanghai he was stymied by the occasional lapse of concentration as he finished a distant 23 strokes behind winner Dustin Johnson of the United States.
“I always try and look at my form on how many birdies I‘m making,” world number 23 Westwood told reporters at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course on Tuesday.
“I‘m making a lot of birdies but I‘m also making some silly scores, a triple‑bogey and a couple of double‑bogeys, and I made a few silly bogeys on easy holes last week.”
The Turkish Open is the penultimate event of the European Tour season and money-list leader Henrik Stenson has Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter breathing down his neck as he bids to end the campaign on top of the pile.
Westwood won the order of merit in 2000 and 2009 and knows what it takes to be crowned Europe’s number one golfer.
“It’s consistency... you really have to play well the full year,” said the Englishman who enjoyed two brief spells as world number one in 2010 and 2011.
“In 2000 I think I won something like six or seven events that year. You don’t need to do that now, you can almost win the money list without winning an event (because)... there’s a big difference in the size of the purses.”
Editing by Clare Fallon