Westwood reminded of where it all started
TribLIVE Sports Videos
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Lee Westwood still doesn't know why his father took him to the golf course.
He played just about every other sport in England when he was 12, such as soccer, cricket and rugby. He used to go fishing with his father, but the fish weren't biting, mainly because Westwood kept throwing stones into the water. So off they went to a golf course called Kilton Forest, neither of them having ever so much as swung a club.
Westwood was hooked.
“I turned pro at 19 and came on tour, and he was still a 12 handicap, so I can't understand the reasons for that,” Westwood said. “He went to every lesson that I've had, drove me there and sat there and listened to it. I just got a bit better than him. Must be down to talent or something like that. I must have my mom's talent for golf.”
Westwood was particularly sharp with his dry humor Wednesday at Pebble Beach, where it's easy to be in a good mood when the landscape is colored with a blue sky, green grass, white surf and a blazing sun.
He is making his first start on the PGA Tour for 2013, and this week is a reminder to the 39-year-old Westwood where his career all started.
It was his mother, a podiatrist, who bought a set of golf clubs from a patient in case her son wanted something to do while on holiday from school. It was his father, a math teacher, who had the idea of going to the golf course for the first time.
Nearly 30 years later, Westwood has put together quite the career. He reached No. 1 in the world, ending the five-year reign of Tiger Woods in October 2010. He has won the Order of Merit twice on the European Tour. He has played on eight Ryder Cup teams.
Perhaps it's only fitting that Westwood goes back to his roots at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am by playing with his father.
John Westwood told the UK version of Golf World that they both shot somewhere in the neighborhood of 180 that first day at Kilton Forest. On the third day, Westwood chipped in for his first birdie, and then his father made a long putt on the same hole for his first birdie.
Pebble Beach is known as the felicitous meeting of land and sea, and the tournament can be an important meeting of PGA Tour players and amateur partners who in most cases are far more successful — CEOs from Fortune 500 companies, stars from other sports that include Wayne Gretzky, Matt Cain and Justin Verlander, actors Bill Murray and Andy Garcia, entertainers like Clay Walker and Kenny G.
It requires patience to get through rounds that approach six hours, with two pros and two amateurs at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club. Who better to spend the time with than the man who got it all started?
“He's had a massive influence on me,” Westwood said. “He's the reason, really, I've got so good at the game.”
Both parents are in California to rejoice over more than just golf. They celebrated their 43rd anniversary, and his mother, Trish, has a birthday next week.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers wrap lackluster preseason with loss to Panthers
- Young adults drive home rental trend in Western Pennsylvania
- Penguins confident Pouliot will be healthy, ready for camp
- Man stabbed to death outside North Side grocery
- Steelers notebook: Safety Mitchell faces former team, hurts leg
- Preseason valuable for Steelers’ offensive line
- August Wilson Center’s financial woes leave little guys in a lurch
- Pirates starting pitcher Cole growing in his 1st full major-league season
- Penn State football team savors cultural experience of Ireland trip
- Pitt senior Weatherspoon’s work ethic second to none
- WPIAL teams value hard-to-come-by nonconference games in Week 1