Westwood could use old Seve magic

Lee Westwood watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during first round play at the WCG Bridgestone...

Lee Westwood watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during first round play at the WCG Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament in Akron, Ohio August 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk)

REUTERS

, Last Updated: 4:14 AM ET

Lee Westwood will draw inspiration from the late Seve Ballesteros's sheer will to win as he battles to retain his world number one ranking at the World Match Play Championship.

Briton Westwood could be overtaken by second-placed compatriot Luke Donald or Germany's Martin Kaymer, in third place, if either win this week.

Spaniard Ballesteros claimed the World Match Play Championship five times when it was played at Wentworth, England. Westwood was a winner in the event at Wentworth in 2000.

"Relating to this week, the way he (Ballesteros) played match play he never gave anything away," Westwood, who is bidding for third successive title this year, told reporters on Wednesday.

"With the fight he showed, he was never really out of a hole. Even if he was in the worst lie and the worst spot you always thought he had a chance of getting the ball up and down.

"That kind of flair is always going to be difficult to play (against) in match play and that's probably why he was so successful in this tournament.

"But it was his short game that stood out and some of the miraculous shots he played. He had a lot of imagination, obviously, and feel."

Westwood also expressed admiration for Donald, acknowledging the way in which his compatriot has improved his game this season to become his biggest threat.

"You don't get to number two in the world without having a lot of strengths and very few weaknesses," Westwood said. "If you make a significant move as he has done and shown the consistency he's shown, you have to have improved in every area by a small percentage."

The world number one agreed with Donald that Britain could be proud of its status in golf.

"It's the first time a country has had one and two in the world other than America and it just shows the state of English and British golf right now," he said.

"We have two Northern Irishmen in the top six (fifth placed Graeme McDowell and sixth placed Rory McIlroy), and Paul (Briton Paul Casey) at ninth."


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