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Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Thursday, 2 December 2010

Lee Westwood upbeat on battle to shake off calf injury

Lee Westwood
Westwood has enjoyed six top-three finishes in 2010

Lee Westwood is hopeful of shaking off his long-standing calf injury over the festive period after admitting he is still troubled by the problem.

The world number one, who is in South Africa for the Nedbank Challenge, missed several weeks of the year and says he is still short of full fitness.

"Hopefully over Christmas I can get fit and can work on my game," he said.

"Then I will not come into tournaments rusty. I have to get my leg right. During rounds, it's still swelling up."

The 37-year-old Worksop golfer is looking for a first win at the 12-man tournament in Sun City at his sixth attempt.

And he goes into the competition in confident mood after finishing tied for third in Dubai last week.

"It's a tournament [Dubai] I should probably have won, but there are positives to take out of it," he said.

"If I had played a little bit more recently I probably would have scored a little bit better. I felt really rusty out there.

"Ordinarily, I wouldn't miss the short putts I missed and make the silly mental errors.

"If you don't perform to your best and you are still in with a chance that is probably what the world number one should do," added Westwood. "But I am now looking forward to next week and next year."

Westwood, who came close to winning in Sun City when he lost in a play-off to Ernie Els in 2000, goes into the tournament as favourite at a venue he enjoys playing.

"I'd love to win here. It's a great tournament and somewhere I've always enjoyed coming to," he added.

"I think 1998 was my first year, I enjoyed it then and I do now. I missed it last year when I didn't play."

Westwood failed to win on the European Tour last season, his solitary win coming in June at the St Jude Classic in Memphis on the PGA Tour in the United States.

His Ryder Cup team-mates Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Ross Fisher and Edoardo Molinari are also playing at the 30th staging of the Sun City event as is South African-born Englishman Justin Rose.

This year's Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen, three-time winner Ernie Els, 2004 champion Retief Goosen and Tim Clark represent South Africa.

Australia's Robert Allenby is looking to defend the title he won last year, while Denmark's Anders Hansen completes the field.

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