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Page last updated at 20:36 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Lee Westwood tries new set of clubs in Qatar Masters

Lee Westwood with the European Tour Players’ Player of the Year Award
Westwood won twice on the European Tour in 2009

European number one Lee Westwood hopes a new set of clubs will return him to winning ways when the Qatar Masters starts in Doha on Thursday.

The 36-year-old had to change his clubs because of new rules on grooves and missed the cut in Abu Dhabi last week.

"They felt like fishing rods," said Westwood, who shot a 63 with another set flown out to him for a charity event in Dubai on Monday.

"The timing was not good because I was playing some of my best ever golf."

The world number four became the inaugural winner of the Race To Dubai - the old Order of Merit - after winning twice and adding nine other top-10 finishes in his final 13 tournaments.


"Missing the cut in Abu Dhabi did not look good for me," said Westwood.

"But there were valid reasons. After the decision (by golf's lawmakers) to change the regulations about the grooves (this year) I had to find a new set of clubs.

"Unfortunately the snow back home and a family holiday did not allow me to bed in a new set ... and when I got out here in the desert I did not feel comfortable."

The new rules introduced for professionals this year outlaw square-shaped grooves in favour of a more "v" shape, to reduce the amount of spin top players can impart on the ball.

"My club suppliers Ping had provided me with another new set which were back home in England and that I had used before Christmas in a pro-am at my local club Worksop and shot a 65," added Westwood, who will have a club technician on hand in Doha.

"I had not brought them with me because I was worried whether the grooves would conform."

With the set he took to Abu Dhabi Westwood carded an opening round of 69 but then slumped to an error-strewn 78.

"After the problems in Abu Dhabi, for which there are no excuses, I got them rushed out to me - the grooves have passed the test - and now I am hoping to get back into the old routine," he said.

Five of the world's top 10 and nine of the top 20 are in action at the Doha Golf Club, including Martin Kaymer, who has risen to sixth following last week's one-shot win over an equally high-class field in Abu Dhabi, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and American Kenny Perry.

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see also
Westwood wins players' Tour award
20 Jan 10 |  Golf
Garcia set to return in Abu Dhabi
19 Jan 10 |  Golf
Westwood gets European Tour award
08 Dec 09 |  Golf
Westwood wins to secure top spot
22 Nov 09 |  Golf
Westwood chips in on 606
11 Nov 09 |  Golf
Westwood secures Portugal victory
18 Oct 09 |  Golf
Kaymer beats Westwood in play-off
05 Jul 09 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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GOLFmagic Why Sergio's on top of the world - 4 hrs ago
The Scotsman Golf: Wilson surprised as rivals struggle in Qatar Masters - 5 hrs ago
AOL UK Westwood calls for checks on clubs - 11 hrs ago
Globe and Mail Enforce new club regulations, Westwood says - 16 hrs ago
Belfast Telegraph McIlroy will be next number one: Player - 19 hrs ago


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