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Page last updated at 19:09 GMT, Sunday, 18 July 2010 20:09 UK

The Open 2010: Lee Westwood remains major nearly man

The Open Championship, St Andrews, 15-18 July
Highlights: Red Button, BBC Sport website and iPlayer

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Consistency not enough for Westwood

By Ged Scott
BBC Sport at St Andrews

Lee Westwood left St Andrews frustrated after racking up his fourth top three finish in a major in five attempts.

But the Nottinghamshire golfer remains confident that it will not be long before he finally breaks his duck.

"Hopefully it's about three weeks away at the USPGA," he said. "But I can't do much more than I'm already doing."

Runner-up Westwood's last day two-under 70 left him seven adrift of new Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who shot 71 on the Old Course to win on 16 under.

Having been fourth at Troon in 2004 and then finished third at Turnberry last year, a second place for Westwood this time round suggests that next year at Royal St George's, by the natural order of progression, he will finally to make it to the number one slot at an Open.

But his first chance of putting his major record right will come at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin next month, when he will be aiming for the USPGA on the banks of Lake Michigan.

It was a slightly surprising win when Graeme McDowell won the US Open last month and it shows that the younger players coming through now are capable of going straight into Majors and winning them

Lee Westwood

Worksop's Westwood, who came into the Open carrying a calf injury, had begun the day needing an eight-shot swing to deny Oosthuizen a maiden major victory of his own.

But he crucially failed to apply any early pressure, taking until the ninth to register his first birdie, playing two groups in front of the eventual winner.

He then gave that shot back with a bogey at 12 and, although he birdied 13 and 14 and responded to his first bogey of the week at 17 with a birdie for the second successive day at 18, that was too little, too late.

But he refused to blame his latest near miss on his putter.

"I'm not reading too much into my putting this week," he said.

"You're putting from a long way away most of the time and I would say I have only missed three or four I'd have expected to hole. Not anywhere close enough to get to Louis."

606: DEBATE

In the end, he made up only one shot on Oosthuizen, who became the fourth South African to win the Open and the first since Ernie Els at Muirfield in 2002.

"He has good penetration on his iron shots," said Westwood. "And he's obviously got a lot of bottle.

"This is the first time that he's been in contention at a major and he's tackled everything that's been thrown at him like an old pro.

"I think it shows how strong golf is in depth. It was a slightly surprising win when Graeme McDowell won the US Open last month and it shows that the younger players coming through now are capable of going straight into majors and winning them."



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