Lee Westwood shot his lowest spherical on American soil in seven years after which declared the AT&T Byron Nelson “the ideal preparation” for next week’s USPGA Championship.
Westwood’s 64, that includes 10 pars and eight birdies, took the former world No1 to nine-under and into contention at Craig Ranch, 5 off the early second-round tempo set by Korean KH Lee.
The 48-year-old, who has fought his way back up to 23rd in the rankings, appeared rested and relaxed after a three-week break and admitted that his run of taking part in eight out of 9 weeks round the Masters was “probably too much”.
“i needed that time off because I’ve played too much already,” Westwood stated. “But after those two second places [at Bay Hill and The Players] in March, I was on a roll and wanted to keep going. However, at my age, I’ve got to mind my energy levels and keep a bit back.”
Westwood missed the reduce at The Masters with son Sam on his bag, however fiancée Helen Storey has returned to caddying duties and also will take the function at Kiawah Island the place he’ll once more go looking for that elusive main.
“I didn’t want to have a month off and go into the [US] PGA rusty,” Westwood stated. “This is ideal, really. It is a great tournament in its own right and I prefer to go into a major having been competitive the week before.”
On the European Tour, Westwood’s countryman Eddie Pepperell has made a welcome return to kind and on 10-under goes into Saturday’s closing spherical of the Betfred British Masters with a one-shot benefit over a six-strong group in second, comprising the Scottish duo of Robert MacIntyre and Calum Hill, the (*64*) pair of Edoardo Molinari and Guido Migliozzi, Poland’s Adrian Meronk and South Africa’s Dean Burmester.
Pepperell reached as excessive as thirty second in the world lower than two years in the past however has fallen to 210th after a wretched patch. Yet there have been promising indicators in the Tour’s three-week go to to the Canaries, with the 30-year-old ending twelfth in Tenerife final Sunday. Pepperell has constructed on that and with a birdie from 40 ft on the well-known 18th at the former Ryder Cup structure, he posted a second successive 68 to emerge from that leaderboard logjam.
At the Investec South African Women’s Open – the first occasion of the 12 months on the Ladies European Tour – Scotland’s Kylie Henry moved to inside two pictures of the midway lead with a 72 in Cape Town. South Africa’s Nicole Garcia units the tempo at Westlake on degree par. —