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Westwood hails US Open campaign

Lee Westwood sees his birdie putt at the 18th go past the hole
Westwood is still searching for his first major victory

England's Lee Westwood tried to remain positive despite narrowly missing out on the chance to become Europe's first US Open winner since 1970.

The 35-year-old finished on level par after missing with a tricky 20ft birdie putt at the last which would have seen him make the play-off.

"While I'm disappointed, I'm pleased with myself," he said.

"I think that I've proved to myself and a few others that there is a major championship in me."

Westwood's final-round 71 meant he ended up in third place on level par for his best major finish, one stroke behind Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate who will now go on to contest Monday's 18-hole play-off.

His final placing beats his previous US Open best of a share of fifth in 2000.

He had briefly taken the lead during a dramatic and unpredictable fourth round but his challenge was undone by three bogeys in four holes after the turn.

Westwood, who now has three top-10 finishes in nine US Open appearances, reached the final hole needing a birdie to match Mediate but could only manage a par five.

"It's sickening not to be in the play-off but all in all I played pretty well all week," said Westwood, who plummeted from fourth in the world rankings into the 200s a few years ago before climbing back to his current mark of 20.

"If somebody had said 'you're going to have a chance from 20 feet for a play-off' I would probably have taken that at the start of the tournament.

"I'm delighted with how my short game held up under pressure and I am pleased with myself. I felt pretty calm out there, a little bit nervous, a few butterflies but I thought I stuck in there well. It is just very fine margins.


"I knew I wasn't out of it and I had to keep telling myself that. I had made a couple of mistakes but a lot can happen over the last few holes and it normally does.

"The only thing I was disappointed all day about was the swing on the 13th where I hooked it into the hazard there. Apart from that, I thought I played pretty great all week.

"It is my first real attempt at being in contention to win a major and so to come up one short and to have a chance at the play-off at the last was pretty good."

Westwood would have been the first European, and the first Briton, to have won the US Open since Tony Jacklin 38 years ago.

Nick Faldo is the last Englishman to have won a major after claiming the Masters in 1996.

see also
Final round as it happened
16 Jun 08 |  Golf
US Open 2008 day four photos
15 Jun 08 |  Golf
Third round as it happened
15 Jun 08 |  Golf

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