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British Open chances: Is it finally Lee Westwood’s time?

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

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Mr. Westwood: good news and bad news. Good: you’re -5 after Saturday at the U.S. Open. Bad …

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This week before the British Open (or Open Championship for you across the pond), we will be previewing the top players in the world and their chances at Sandwich. We continue with the guy whose window is closing.

Lee Westwood

Current world ranking: 2

So far this year: He's had his troubles on PGA Tour events, though he's hanging just fine on the European Tour. He won the Ballantines Championship in May against a field that may in fact have featured some clinically dead players, and lost to Luke Donald in a playoff at the 2011 BMW Championship. At the majors, he's tied for 11th in Augusta and tied for third at Congressional.

Record at the British Open: He's got four top 10s but also four missed cuts since 1995, though more of the former in recent years. If you follow trend lines, he tied for third in 2009 (behind Tom Watson and Stewart Cink) and finished solo second behind Louis Oosthuizen last year.

Why he could win: Because he always seems to be in the mix at majors. Also, the conditions at Royal St. George's won't necessarily favor any one player, so Westwood could hang around long enough to make a late charge.

Why he could fall short: Because he always seems good but not good enough at majors. Westwood would probably play a lot better if he never had to look at a leaderboard during majors; unfortunately, they're tough to escape.

Our take: Not this year. Westwood has too many quality challengers and too tough of a course to be able to master the Open Championship.

Your turn, folks. Do you think Lee Westwood has it in him to snag that major this year?

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