Woods dethroned, Westwood takes over
Briton Lee Westwood is to take over as world number one when the new rankings are published on Monday after Ryder Cup team mate Martin Kaymer finished down the field at the Andalucia Masters.other Updated: Nov 01, 2010 03:03 IST
Briton Lee Westwood is to take over as world number one when the new rankings are published on Monday after Ryder Cup team mate Martin Kaymer finished down the field at the Andalucia Masters.
Typically, his capture of the world number one spot from Tiger Woods was a low-key affair with Westwood not even playing this week as he recovers from a calf muscle injury that has dogged him for the last two months.
Ideally he would have wanted to take the top spot on the course, but the vagaries of the rolling two-year system operated by the world rankings meant he did not have to wait until then.
“I'll take it any way,” the 37-year-old commented last week on the prospect of topping the rankings while not actually playing. “I've had a great year up until getting injured (even after that he came second at The Open).
“Look at all of the world ranking points I've won - I was leading that by a mile before I got my injury.
“It's something I've always dreamed of and it would be great if it happened.”
Such dizzy heights are all a long way from nine years ago when Westwood's form had slumped so dramatically that his world ranking had fallen outside the top 250.
Many golf observers were left puzzled by this abrupt about-turn in the fortunes of a golfer who had signalled his precocious talent by ending Colin Montgomerie's seven year run as European Order of Merit winner in 2000 and rising to world number four.
Westwood took an extended break from the game in late 2001 following the birth of his first son and underwent a drastic overhaul of his swing employing the talents of golfing guru David Leadbetter.
It took a while though for him to reap the benefits of all his hard work and, despite playing a starring role every two years in the Ryder Cup clashes with the United States, Westwood had to wait until 2007 to establish himself back inside the world top 50, largely due to a crucial win in the British Masters.
Since then, Westwood has gone from strength to strength. looking fitter and more confident with each year.
Climbing back into the world top 10, he looked set to finally win a major, but that milestone has agonisingly eluded him over the last two years as he tied for third at both the British Open and US PGA in 2009 before taking the runner-up spot at this years Masters and British Open.
First Published: Oct 31, 2010 20:50 IST