Lee Westwood’s longevity at the top his greatest achievement

England's Lee Westwood has won the Order of Merit for a third time (Picture: PA)England's Lee Westwood has won the Order of Merit for a third time (Picture: PA)
England's Lee Westwood has won the Order of Merit for a third time (Picture: PA)
The longevity of the career is staggering.

Lee Westwood may never have won a major – the best player never to do so dare we say – but even that must now be rendered inconsequential given this latest achievement.

Twenty years after winning the European Tour’s money list for the first time, and 11 years after claiming it for a second time, the 47-year-old from Worksop topped the Order of Merit for a third occasion in the Middle East yesterday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Race to Dubai it might now be known, but how the evergreen Westwood outran athletes half his age over the marathon of a season is a testament to his everlasting durability.

Granted, it was a season truncated by coronavirus, but still. This has to be Westwood’s crowning glory, eclipsing even November 2010 when he rose to No 1 in the world rankings.

Eclipsing his first Order of Merit title, surely, when he ended Colin Montgomerie’s seven-year stranglehold over the European Tour.

Even then, that first Harry Vardon Trophy for Europe’s premier player, would have been his earlier had it not been for Montgomerie, with Westwood winning 12 times over a three-year span from 1998.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

His first win came in 1996. Earlier this year the man who honed his skills at Worksop Golf Club achieved a victory in four different decades.

There have been lean years, notably a spell after the turn of the millennium when he plummeted to a position outside the top 250 in the world, but that he scaled the mountain top eventually – a deceade ago now – says much about his resolve.

Not many golfers can operate at the top level for the best part of a quarter of a century. For every Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson on the PGA Tour, who can match Westwood for longevity, there is a David Duval, Vijay Singh or Jason Dufner, men who enjoyed spells but faded.

Watching it all unfold yesterday was Billy Foster, for so long Westwood’s caddie but now carrying the bag for Sheffield’s Matt Fitzpatrick, the only man to go lower than Westwood in Dubai.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Foster will have been the first to join Westwood for a celebratory drink.

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.