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At this year's U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, Lee Westwood will try to top his 2008 second-place finish on the same course in the same tournament.
He'll attempt to do so with a familiar face on the bag, but someone with a new working title.
Last week, Westwood, 48, got married in Las Vegas to Helen Storey. Storey has plenty of experience by Westwood's side, but this will mark her first time as caddie/wife.
"She's good mentally for me," Westwood said Wednesday. "She can't really comment too much – although she does now and again. She starts to over-caddie and tell me what club she thinks it is. But mentally she's very good for me. She knows me better than anybody. She's sat in with sessions with my psychologist and keeps me in the right frame of mind and concentrating on the right things."
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Westwood did plenty of things right earlier in the year. He held 54-hole leads at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship, but finished second in both tournaments. That was the first time a player finished solo-second in back-to-back weeks on Tour since Webb Simpson in 2019.
He had his son, Sam, serving as caddie at the Masters and missed the cut. With Storey on the bag at Kiawah Island, Westwood tied for 71st.
At the 2008 U.S. Open, Westwood was one stroke away from joining the famous Tiger Woods-Rocco Mediate playoff, which Woods ended up winning with a broken leg.
Westwood had the lead heading into Sunday's back nine, but then three bogeys in four holes diminished his chances of winning his first major. Thirteen years later, Westwood is still looking for his first major win. This week he could tie Jay Haas for most majors played without a win (87).
But maybe the 87th time will be a charm, with his bride by his side.
"Well, this week's going to be new," Westwood said. "It's going to be husband and wife, so it might change. She might kind of give me the elbow a bit more often, but it's a very relaxed relationship anyway. We just enjoy ourselves, trying to have a good time out there."
The saying goes, happy wife, happy life, and Westwood winning his first major this week may prolong the honeymoon phase. And speaking of such, despite "America's Finest City" being a popular destination, Westwood said this week won't be considered the newlywed's honeymoon.
"Should do, shouldn't it? I keep telling her that," Westwood said, "but I think she's got her eye on somewhere where I don't take the golf clubs."