England’s Lee Westwood has achieved many things in his illustrious career but this week at the BNI Indonesian Masters presented by TNE he will attempt to add on one more mighty feat, and that’s to win a tournament for a fourth time.
The former world number one and winner of 44 titles on planet golf starts in the event on Thursday here at Royale Jakarta Golf Club – where he won in 2011, 2012 and 2015.
The US$1.5 million event, Indonesia’s most lucrative sporting competition, is the final tournament of the season on the Asian Tour, part of the International Series and will decide who wins the Asian Tour Order of Merit and International Series ranking.
Westwood – three times Europe’s number one golfer – is not eligible to win either of those but that will no doubt not stop him from going all out for the victory.
“It’s great to back, obviously COVID meant we could not get out here. This place has very special memories for me, I have been here three times, and won three times. It is very nice to be back, and I am looking forward to it,” said the 49 year old, who has won three other events thrice: the Nedbank Golf Challenge, the Nordea Masters and the Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters.
“The golf course obviously suits me very well and I have always enjoyed coming to Asia where I have enjoyed so much success. I haven’t played a lot recently it’s been pretty cold back in England so not much chance to play. I played yesterday, today and tomorrow so I will be ready for Thursday.”
Westwood has a close affinity to Asia having triumphed on nine occasions on the Asian Tour, with his most recent coming in this week’s event back in 2015.
The tournament, which is celebrating the 10th time it has been staged, will also see his son Samuel make his debut as a professional.
Said Westwood: “He started playing the game very late. He only took up the game seriously at age 16 and he is 21 now. I don’t really have any expectations for him this week. I just want him to enjoy himself. I expect him to be nervous and feel uncomfortable, but we all feel that way when you tee it up for the first time and once that has passed I expect him to start enjoying himself, start hitting some good shots and build on that. But I have no expectations as far as scores are concerned.”
Westwood’s triumvirate of victories have all come at the expense of Thai opponents: in 2011 he beat Thongchai Jaidee by three shots, in 2012 he triumphed by two from Thaworn Wiratchant and in 2015 he defeated Chapchai Nirat in a sudden-death playoff.
So don’t be surprised if he gets that personal best fourth win ahead of a player from The Kingdom.