Lee Westwood’s quest for a first major fell just short again at Augusta on Sunday – but there was plenty of evidence to suggest his wait may soon come to an end.
Westwood finished just two shots behind Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen who went into a play-off for the Green Jacket – a play-off that Watson won on the second extra hole – but admits his putting is holding him back.
Speaking after his closing 68, Westwood said: “I came out and missed a two-footer on the third inexplicably. That is not the kind of thing that will give you confidence for the rest of the round.
“I didn’t really make that many putts – the longest was ten foot on 18. I keep getting in it and I’ll keep plugging. I don’t feel like giving up just yet.”
Westwood has now finished in the top three in six of the last ten majors and next up for the World No.3 is the US Open in June.
Westwood finished third in the US Open last year – admittedly some way behind winner Rory McIlroy – but the Olympic Club, located in San Francisco, looks better suited to his game than Augusta ever will.
Tee to green, Westwood is arguably the best player in the world and was amongst the leaders in both driving stats and green-in-regulation all week at Augusta.
With the US Open famous for its brutal rough and narrow fairways, if Westwood can maintain his consistency off the tee, then he has every chance of being in the hunt yet again.
He is fourth favourite at 16/1 to become the third British player in as many years to win the second major of the year and, with his putting surely unable to get any worse than it was in Georgia, now could be the time to back the Englishman.