EXCLUSIVE Lee Westwood interview ahead of The Masters
We caught up with our Chief Holiday Officer, Lee Westwood, just days before The 2021 Masters.
Lee has just enjoyed a sparkling run of form, firstly claiming The Race to Dubai Championship in December 2020 at Jumeirah Golf Estates Earth Course. Then in most recent times finishing 2nd at Bay Hill in The Arnold Palmer Invitational to Bryson deChambeau and runner up at TPC Sawgrass for The PLAYERS Championship to Justin Thomas.
“2 great weeks and a lot of confidence to be taken from them”
On his 2nd place finishes at Bay Hill & Sawgrass
This run of form has left many wondering if Lee could potentially break his Major duck and in doing so would also claim Jack Nicklaus’ record as the oldest player to have won a Major which he did in 1986 at the age of 46. This is almost a case of golf turning full circle with Jack having played with Lee at his first Masters appearance in 1997.
“It would be great to break his record. I saw Jack a few weeks ago and I still remember the first time I played this tournament in 1997, I played the final round with Jack. I went out on the Saturday night and bought the iconic picture where he’s following the ball into the hole on 17 with his putter. After we played on the Sunday, I said to Jack ‘would you mind signing this picture for me?’ I still have it to this day, all framed up. He put ‘To Lee, enjoyed our round, best wishes, Jack Nicklaus’. There are very few people you would do that with, he is a legend and arguably the greatest player to ever play the game.”
On his Masters experience with Nicklaus
Lee will also be using a similar tactic to Jack in employing his son as caddy. Sam Westwood will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Jackie Nicklaus did in carrying his father’s bag to victory.
The father-son moments continue with Sam heading to Augusta National to play the course with Lee just after his performance at Sawgrass. Sam, a scratch handicap golfer, played the course 3 times over 2 days, bettering his score each time as his Dad passed on the info gathered from 20 Masters Tournaments, 6 top 10’s and 2 2nd place finishes.
Westwood believes his sighting of the course just prior to the event will stand him in good stead following the very different conditions seen when Dustin Johnson triumphed in November following the rescheduled 2020 event due to COVID-19. Westwood remarked on the course being significantly faster and firmer with some rough cut back to encourage balls to roll into the pine straw.
The traditions of The Masters are things that set it apart from other tournaments and one of Lee’s favourites, The Par-3 Tournament isn’t happening this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Despite the fact that no golfer has gone onto win both The Par 3 Tournament and The Masters Tournament in the same year, Lee was quick to say that he’d jump at the chance of winning it, and a piece of stunning Augusta National memorabilia would be very welcome at his home.
“A win is a win!”
On the chance to win The Par 3 Tournament
YGT Rory did jump the gun a little but was keen to organise Lee’s Champions Dinner so opted for a very English affair of Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding with apple pie for dessert, a choice very close to that of 2016 Masters Champion, Danny Willett.
Lee’s preparation for The Masters is a little different to a normal tournament in that he tries to arrive just a little bit earlier on Sunday and ease himself into the tournament by playing 9 holes along with practising and gym work to ensure he’s physically and mentally prepared for the event.
With his most recent run of tournaments, Lee is arguably in the best form coming into The Masters than ever so we’ll be cheering him on, as many golfers will, from the Your Golf Travel towers and hope for a Green Jacket to be placed onto the shoulders of our favourite golfer on Sunday.