Lee Westwood at the British Open: Riding into the sunset

The British Open has a new star. It’s Paul Larsen. You would certainly not come very close to the Englishman if you claim that few people knew him until Wednesday. Then the Chief Greenkeeper of the Royal St. George Golf golf channel Interview – Within hours he was recognized as a hero. Chief Greenkeeper is an honorable act, this species is hardly responsible for the condition of golf courses. At the British Open, as can be seen from the photo, they used scissors to cut the last millimeters of a blade of grass on the edge of a hole in the morning before the first sprint. However, Larsen himself has clearly not seen a cut in a long time, because as he showed in his TV appearance, he wore his hair beautifully in a special way. His hairstyle, which sprouts in all directions like a bird’s nest, was given even more oomph by mirrored glasses. This combination has been celebrated. Alice Cooper, an avid golfer, must feel like a well-combed pupil at Eaton in this scene.

All the prominent golf reporters, and there are plenty of them in Great Britain and the United States, pounced on Larsen’s appearance. Of course you can smile at them, but on the other hand, it must be emphasized that it does its job well. On the other hand, his short-lived rise to celebrity status shows how relevant everything about the British Open is. Even the flights of the top players are shown on TV. Then you see people get out of the car and then they disappear again. On the other hand, fans have a gorgeous goose step ready, which radiates an urgency similar to the famous walk for people who, if not an epidemic, would like to have a seat in the Augustiner’s tent at Munich’s Oktoberfest. Every second counts. Don’t miss anything.

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Lee Westwood is a man-made Oktoberfest tent, especially in England so many would like to see it, of course it was no different on Thursday. It must also be emphasized that the island’s knowledgeable golf audience appreciates every good performance – but the applause of their fellow countrymen and especially at Westwood is so much more than that. Westwood, 48, of Worsop East of Sheffield, has the status of Thomas Muller and is thus a cult figure. Although a small flaw. This real-life friend has not won any major championships, but he has been the preeminent European golfer for the past 20 years. He has 44 wins worldwide, 25 on the European Tour, and has celebrated multiple times in the Ryder Cup. But in the major tournaments, the top four events, he could set a record this week that he didn’t deserve: he’s still tied with American Jay Haas – both of whom have competed on 87 majors without winning the title. With 88 it will be at the top. “Another prize, yeah. I love it,” he said with self-deprecation when asked about it by a reporter.

He and wife Helen Storey recently married in Las Vegas – and it’s also his cans

What has often become Westwood’s retreat en route to the ultimate ultimate victory, is at the same time part of the magic that defines golf at this level. Guided tours, even the loud ones, mean nothing if you get a trembling hand at the end. Or just play others cooler. Westwood has been in the top ten 19 times. In the 2008 US Open and the 2009 British Open, he missed the playoff to win by one stroke each, in 2010 he was runner-up at the Augusta Masters, and in 2013 he led after the third round at the British Open. Despite everything, his attitude to this day is to try again and again. You can’t do more than that, what’s going on,” he said at St. George’s Center. Nobody should worry about it. For 27 years, he’s earned an average of nearly $900,000 in prizes—per season.

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On Thursday, Westwood started the tournament with a run of 71 strokes (+1), and Martin Kaymer, who was still playing in his group of three with Stewart Sinek (USA, -4), needed a 74 stroke (+4). With that result, it will be hard to keep up with the leaders on Friday. Compared to the previous one, Westwood finds his shorter game, and hits around the green, better. However, he slacked off the tee, and also felt old with the long strokes. As he sees it himself, the volatility of his shape has increased, and it wasn’t always consistent over the long term. He doesn’t have the same strength in the match in every tournament. He finds himself wonderfully relaxed.

Westwood radiates overall, this is a success in a completely different way, a real joy that his job still gives him. He has long been aware of the fact that he could end up like the great Scotsman Colin Montgomery without a major title. There are stories like that in golf. But the fact that he generally owns this string of majors without a win also shows him how well he has performed at the front for nearly three decades. This is also a “record” for him.

Westwood may be one of the big names in his sport who is taking off into the sunset of his career in a more laid-back fashion. He recently married Helen Storey in Las Vegas, who also serves as his boxer for a long time. They both seem to be having a lot of fun, even on the field. Westwood himself said golf became easier because he simply thought of what it was all about: “Put a little ball into a little hole.”

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