Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Lee Westwood insists he is worthy of the world No 1 spot and said he was sick of being asked about failing to win a Major, after some experts queried his right to the top ranking.
The Englishman moved back to pro golf's No 1 spot by winning the Indonesian Masters on Sunday, although he had to rely on countryman Luke Donald's stumble at the US PGA Heritage Tournament.
Westwood has been one of the game's more consistent performers in recent years but a Major title – the professional golfer's holy grail – has so far eluded him.
Some American columnists – along with England's six-time Major-winner and ex-world number one Nick Faldo – have queried the ranking system as Westwood and Donald, neither of whom have won a Major, vie for the top slot.
But Westwood, who is in the field for this week's $3.2 million Ballantine's Championship at Blackstone Golf Club near Seoul, said he was tired of justifying his position.
"The only thing that gets to me about answering that question is the amount of times I have to answer it, it gets on my nerves," Westwood said.
"This might be the very last time I answer this question – it could become 'no comment' after this. The world rankings and the Major championships are two completely separate things.
"I've had a lot of chances to win Majors recently and it just hasn't happened. The world rankings are about consistency and playing well week-in, week-out, which I tend to do." However, Westwood also said the venues for this year's remaining Majors – the US Open at Congressional Country Club, Maryland, the Open at Royal St George's and the US PGA at Atlanta Athletic Club, Georgia – would suit him.
"I'm particularly good tee-to-green and at Major championships you tend to have a big advantage if you hit a lot of greens," he said.
The 38-year-old was number one for 17 weeks before losing top spot to Germany's Martin Kaymer in February after what was, by his own admission, a poor run of form.
"It was nice to get back to number one but to be honest I hadn't played the first part of the year like the world number one and the world rankings are reflective of how you played," he said.
Westwood admitted the added demands put on him as No 1 had left him struggling to balance his schedule.
"Obviously with being world number one there's a lot more responsibility, so you have a lot more things to do, more media commitments," he said.
"People want a lot more of your time so it becomes sometimes a bit difficult to cram everything in and leave time for practising golf – what got you where you are. That's the toughest part."
Westwood now heads a world top 10 that features six Europeans including five from Britain and Northern Ireland, and he said the current standard of golf meant there was little room for error.
"There are a lot of very good players in the world, so you can't afford to have any weaknesses," he said. "The secret to being world number one is consistency – all parts of your game have to be good."
Since Tiger Woods' epic 281-week reign as number one came to an end after a lurid sex scandal last year, golf fans have been gripped by the fierce tussle for the rankings crown.
While Westwood and Kaymer have traded the top slot, Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell and Donald have all been within striking distance, while a winless Woods has slipped back to sixth as he struggles for consistency.

1 Lee Westwood, Eng 7.65 
2 Martin Kaymer, Deu 7.52
3 Luke Donald, Eng 7.37
4 Phil Mickelson, USA 6.52
5 Graeme McDowell, Nir 5.84
6 Tiger Woods, USA 5.72
7 Rory McIlroy, Nir 5.64
8 Paul Casey, Eng 5.59
9 Steve Stricker, USA 5.48  
10 Matt Kuchar, USA 5.21 
11 Charl Schwartzel, SAf 5.13
12 Dustin Johnson, USA 4.99 
13 Jim Furyk, USA 4.79 
14 Nick Watney, USA 4.60
15 Ernie Els, SAf 4.43 
16 Bubba Watson, USA 4.31
17 Ian Poulter, Eng 4.21
18 Adam Scott, Aus 4.18
19 Francesco Molinari, Ita 4.06
20 Hunter Mahan, USA 4.04
21 Martin Laird, Sco 3.96
22 Robert Karlsson, Swe 3.95
23 Jason Day, Aus 3.92
24 Retief Goosen, Zaf 3.87
25 Justin Rose, Eng 3.75
26 Alvaro Quiros, Esp 3.61
27 Miguel A Jimenez, Spa 3.53
28 Tim Clark, SAf 3.47
29 Edoardo Molinari, Ita 3.46
30 Geoff Ogilvy, Aus 3.45
31 Louis Oosthuizen, SAf 3.43
32 Robert Allenby, Aus 3.31
33 Matteo Manassero, Ita 3.27
34 Y E Yang, S Kor 3.00
35 Ben Crane, US 2.98 
36 Rickie Fowler, US 2.96.
37 K J Choi, SKor 2.93
38 Brandt Snedeker, USA 2.92
39 Kim Kyung-Tae, SKor 2.89,
40 Ryan Moore, USA 2.86
41 Padraig Harrington, Irl 2.82
42 Zach Johnson, USA 2.82
43 Peter Hanson, Swe 2.71
44 Ryo Ishikawa, Jpn 2.66.
45 Anthony Kim, USA 2.63
46 Gary Woodland, USA 2.62
47 Ross Fisher, Eng 2.62
48 Bo Van Pelt, USA 2.58
49 Anders Hansen, Dnk 2.54
50 Bill Haas, USA 2.50
Other Scots' rankings:
80 Stephen Gallacher 1.81
141 Richie Ramsay 1.13.
155 Paul Lawrie 1.06
258 David Drysdale 0.64.
260 George Murray 0.64
297 Peter Whiteford 0.56



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