LEE Westwood is refusing to let fear creep into his game, as he attempts to capture a so-far elusive major title.
The 38-year-old is in action at The Scottish Open at Castle Stuart tomorrow, warming up for next week’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s in Kent.
A major is the only thing missing from Westwood’s packed trophy cabinet.
And speaking to the Guardian at Clumber Park Hotel last Friday, the world number two golfer said he was as confident as ever that he can land one of golf’s four ‘big ones’.
“I don’t think you can allow it to become a fear,” he said.
“I’m getting close all the time and that’s a confidence boost.”
“I’ve been better than nearly everybody else in the majors in the last few years.”
“I’ve been playing really well, having some good results, I just need to turn it into a major championship win.”
A golfer with a major already under his belt, Rory McIlroy, is the centre of much of the media attention ahead of The Open, and the Worksop man heaped praise on his management company stablemate.
“He’s the form horse going into The Open, he’s led at some point during the last four majors and what he did at the US Open was exciting.”
“It’s pretty impressive, to shoot 80 at Augusta and then come back to win the next one, it was a fantastic achievement.”
After being knocked off the top of the world rankings by fellow Englishman Luke Donald, and watching as Ulster’s McIlroy captured the US Open last month, Westwood is hopeful that he can escape much of the pre-major attention and pressure.
“With Luke being number one and Rory winning the US Open hopefully not all the attention will be on me and I can come in under the radar a little bit.”
“It certainly helps if you can come in under the radar so to speak.”
And he believes that his incredible record in the majors over the past couple of years will give him an advantage over many of his rivals going into the final round in Kent next weekend.
“The more often you can put yourself in that situation, the more you become comfortable with it,” he added.
Royal St George’s will not play host to former world number one Tiger Woods, the American confirming this week that his left leg injury will keep him out of action.
Westwood has had his own experience of pulling out of a major due to injury.
He told the Guardian: “With injuries if you keep coming back too early it gets harder to recover 100 per cent.”
“With an injury like his, you’ve got to be at 100 per cent, it’s a very difficult decision.”
“You only have a set number of major championships you can play in.”
At Friday’s press conference Westwood confirmed he is now attached to Close House in Newcastle, a relationship that will be announced on the first tee at each event.
But he’s not concerned about losing his association with his home club.
“I’ve always had an affinity with Worksop, I’ve played there since I was 13” he said.
“I think everybody knows by now that I’m from Worksop.”