The Loop

Westwood deals with another close call

April 11, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- He said all the right things and accepted condolences with humility. Still, you have to wonder what's going through the mind of Lee Westwood after taking a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Masters and shooting a one-under 71, only to lose by three strokes. Is winning a major actually meant to be?

It wasn't as if the 36-year-old Englishman played poorly at Augusta National GC Sunday, which perhaps makes the situation all the more frustrating. He shot a fourth straight round under par, yet all he has to show for it was a second-place finish to go with the T-3 showings he had at last year's British Open and PGA Championship.

"I just need to keep doing what I'm doing," said Westwood afterward. "One of these days the door is going to open for me."

While making the turn in one over par, Westwood only was one stroke off the lead heading into the back nine. A birdie on the par-3 13th appeared as if it might bring some momentum, but Westwood would make just one more birdie (on 17) while Mickelson shot a four-under 32 to close with a 67.

"Whenever you come as close as I've come today, there's a tinge of disappointment there," said Westwood, who has now had six top-five finishes in majors, "but that doesn't last too long. One of these days I'll get the breaks and I'll become a major champion hopefully."

The only question though is whether time is starting to run out.

-- Ryan Herrington