Westwood aims to follow Mickelson's lead at 88th major attempt

Sandwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Lee Westwood is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Phil Mickelson's historic PGA Championship win at the age of 50 as the Englishman aims to finally win a major championship at the British Open this week.

Westwood will break the record for major appearances without winning one if he fails at his 88th attempt at Royal St George's.

However, the 48-year-old still sees himself as a contender and believes Mickelson's win to become the oldest ever major champion shows that a golfer's prime has been extended by improvements in sports science.

"I think we're from a generation that's maybe had the benefit of sports medicine and things like that, maybe a little bit more analytical and knowing what's going on," he said.

"My and Phil's generation are now reaping the benefits of the hard work for the last 20 years, analysing movements in the swing and working on injury prevention to those parts of the body that get injured.

"I think when you get to our age, we maybe don't treat it as seriously as we once did, and it's easy to play golf when you're a little bit more flippant about it and see it for what it is, getting a small ball in a small hole."

Far from being embarrassed by his major record, Westwood also displayed pride at his consistency that has seen him play in every British Open since 1995.

Nine times he has finished in the top three of a major and tied for fourth the last time the British Open was played in 2019.

"I do care about that. That's nice, that record," he added on his number of major appearances. "It shows I've been a good player for a long, long time. There's not many people who have played in as many major championships as me."