Lee Westwood wins in Memphis

Published:

In a remarkable turnaround, Lee Westwood won his second tournament on the PGA Tour, some 12 years after his first. In Memphis, Tennessee, he won the St Jude Classic, despite the fact that Robert Garrilus, a little known American pro, came to the final hole with a three-shot lead.

Garrigus, who had never won on Tour, then went into a Jean Van de Velde type melt-down on the last hole. Needing a double-bogey or better to win the event, he could have hit three wedges and two-putted for victory. Instead he hooked his first into the water left, dropped another ball under a penalty, flubbed his next into the trees left, had to chip out sideways, hit his next to 30 feet and two-putted for a 7.

This got him into a sudden death playoff with Robert Karlsson and Lee Westwood; but at the first playoff hole his drive went right behind a tree and his challenge was effectively finished. This left the two Europeans, who proceeded to both miss relatively simple chances for victory, before Westwood holed a five-footer for the win on the fourth extra hole. Westwood’s last victory in America came in 1998 in New Orleans; but he has since climbed to number 3 in the world, and must be one of the favourites for the US Open at Pebble Beach this week.

“I really thought three shots was too far behind,” he said afterwards, “but it just shows that you can’t count on anything in this game. Of course I feel sorry for Garrigus, but golf can be like that.”

Westwood only got a late invitation into the Tournament which is sponsored by FedEx, which many thought was because he is himself sponsored by one of FedEx’s competitors – UPS.