Lee Westwood is hoping this week’s Open Championship will fire him back into form again after the disappointment of missing the cut at the Scottish Open in Aberdeen last week.
The Worksop ace shot a second-round 73 in Aberdeen to miss out on the weekend action.
And while his countryman and European Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose warmed up for the action at the Royal Liverpool course at Hoylake this week in perfect fashion by winning at Aberdeen, Westwood, 41, was left contemplating where his game is at.
“I would say the spark is not there at the moment,” he told the media after his second round at Aberdeen.
“If I could start hitting it, that would be nice.”
“When I look at my schedule for the rest of the year it’s too many tournaments, especially when you are 41 years of age.”
“You get jaded and you need to be keen every time you tee it up.”
“You can’t contend when you’re hitting it like I am. I haven’t hit it very good for two or three months.”
“You are going to struggle on any golf course but when it’s a major championship test, when there is likely to be a bit of breeze, you are going to struggle.”
“You just have to keep grinding away trying to find the answer. I know what I’ve got to work on.”
“It’s just a case of teaching the old dog new tricks.”
However, if anything is likely to get Ryder Cup star Westwood firing again, it is the prospect of his home major, with the large British crowd behind him all the way and the knowledge that his recent form at the event has been very good.
Last year at Muirfield, he led going into the final round before eventually finishing third, while in 2010, at St Andrews, he finished second, his best ever finish for the tournament.
And he said he was looking forward to the unique challenge posed by the The Open, which is played on links courses as opposed to the manicured stadium courses the American majors usually take place on.
“I don’t get the chance to play in Britain very often, just the PGA Championship at Wentworth and these two tournaments (the Scottish Open and The Open),” he said.
“I just want to get used to playing links golf.”
“Living in Florida it’s a lot of high trajectory shots, not much playing in strong winds and running the ball along the ground and chipping around the greens.”
Westwood is due to tee off at 2.38pm today (Thursday) and is due to start his second round at 9.37am tomorrow (Friday).
For both rounds, he will be playing with American Ryder Cup rival Keegan Bradley and Japanese star Ryo Ishikowa in what will be a premier three-ball for the massed television audiences around the world.