Westwood says game has reached plateau this year

Updated: 2011-09-08 14:18


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Westwood says game has reached plateau this year

Lee Westwood of England chips the ball out of a bunker onto the 13th green during the first day of the European Masters golf in Crans-Montana, Sept 1, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

HILVERSUM, Netherlands - World number two Lee Westwood said his game had reached a plateau this year but shrugged off any disappointment at again failing to break his major duck.

The former world number one has watched fellow Britons Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke win majors this year but the cherished prizes have remained elusive for Westwood who missed the cut at the wind-hit British Open.

On the eve of the Dutch Open on the Hilversumsche course, where Westwood will play with US Open champion McIlroy and 2010 US PGA Championship winner Martin Kaymer, the Englishman gave a frank appraisal of his year.

"I'm not really disappointed with this season," Westwood told reporters. "If I was, I'd be disappointed every season I've ever played because I haven't won a major.

"I've played consistently again, so I'm happy with that. But I don't feel like I've improved much this year. Sometimes it's difficult to quantify improvement unless it's spectacular. Occasionally you just plateau off."

Westwood refused to accept that his putting might have held him back from winning a major.

"I don't think you can get to number one in the world without being a good putter," Westwood said. "But I think my long game is at such a high level that people look for places to criticise you all the time and they look to my putting.

"I don't see good putters being criticised for not having such a good long game. It's (his putting performances this year) just one of those things."

Westwood will look for victory in the Netherlands to try to close the gap between himself and world number one Luke Donald while keeping defending champion Kaymer and McIlroy, world's number three and four respectively, at bay.



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