Westwood wins in Memphis
Memphis - Britain's Lee Westwood completed a perfect tune-up for next week's US Open at Pebble Beach by winning his first PGA Tour title in 12 years at the St. Jude Classic on Sunday.
The world number three made the most of a final-hole meltdown in regulation by American Robert Garrigus, who blew a three-shot lead, to triumph in a three-way playoff.
"I like being competitive before a major championship, to be competitive in a tournament and boost my confidence," Westwood told reporters after a steaming hot day at the TPC Southwind.
"This week was a little bit draining with the temperature it gets to here, but because I've been to Pebble Beach and done most of my preparation I can take it easy for the next three days."
Englishman Westwood was delighted to clinch his second title on the PGA Tour, ending a barren run on the US circuit dating back to the 1998 New Orleans Classic.
"It's definitely nice to win again," the 37-year-old said after rolling in a five-foot birdie putt at the fourth extra hole to edge out Swede Robert Karlsson. Garrigus was eliminated at the first extra hole.
"Nobody likes negative questions when you try to be positive all the time. You get into contention and sometimes you don't finish off. It could be a lot of different things that conspire to that."
A 20-times winner on the European Tour, Westwood has become well accustomed to the vagaries of fortune that can plague a professional golfer, having slumped to 246th in the world in 2002 after topping the European money list two years earlier.
"In my career, I've had highs and lows," said Westwood, long regarded as one of the best in the game from tee to green. "I've dropped down in the world rankings and come back up it. So to be contending for golf tournaments is a real positive, because I couldn't see a fairway or the golf course eight years ago.
Westwood will tee off in Thursday's opening round of the US Open at Pebble Beach as a leading contender, having recorded top-three finishes in the last three majors.
Leading final scores on Sunday in the $5.6 million St. Jude Classic (x-won at 4th playoff hole. USA unless noted):
270 - x-Lee Westwood (GBR) 63-68-71-68, Robert Garrigus 67-66-66-71, Robert Karlsson (SWE) 67-66-68-69
271 - Shaun Micheel 68-66-70-67, Garrett Willis 66-65-73-67
272 - Heath Slocum 69-67-66-70
273 - Billy Mayfair 69-70-68-66
274 - Bob Estes 66-69-71-68, DJ Trahan 66-68-71-69, Camilo Villegas (COL) 71-67-69-67, Jay Williamson 66-70-69-69
275 - Ben Crane 67-72-69-67, Zach Johnson 67-69-71-68, Johnson Wagner 69-68-69-69
276 - Stephen Ames (CAN) 70-71-67-68, Retief Goosen (RSA) 72-68-68-68, Fredrik Jacobson (SWE) 69-70-69-68
277 - Nathan Green (AUS) 73-68-65-71
278 - Ryuji Imada (JPN) 67-68-71-72, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 69-66-72-71
279 - Mathew Goggin (AUS) 69-69-69-72, John Senden (AUS) 66-70-73-70
280 - Mathias Gronberg (SWE) 69-72-68-71
281 - Steve Elkington (AUS) 72-69-70-70
283 - Padraig Harrington (IRL) 65-74-71-73
289 - Alex Cejka (GER) 68-73-70-78