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Birdies will be difficult to find, says Westwood

By Mark Garrod

Lee Westwood feels he has already pulled off one “genius” move at Royal Lytham, but admits he is still trying to figure out where the birdies to boost his Open chances will come from.

Westwood is seeking his first Major title at the 58th attempt this week, having recorded seven top-three finishes in his last 16 appearances.

The 39-year-old admits Lytham is one of his favourite courses on the Open rota, but knows the thick rough and potentially poor weather will make conditions difficult when the battle for the Claret Jug gets under way tomorrow.

“I played the course last night, which was a genius move because it was nice weather and there was hardly anybody out there,” the world number three said. “It was one of the best Open Championship practices I ever had.

“It's going to be a tough test, as Lytham is. They changed a par-five (the sixth) to a par-four, so relative to under par you would think is going to be a bit higher.

“The 11th is much longer, the traps are far more in play. The seventh is longer, so it's one of the toughest tests I've played in an Open Championship, I think.

“Obviously it's in England and it's nice to play on home turf, that makes it more special.

“And I think it's a fair golf course that's a lot harder than it looks at first impression.

“People say it's fairly flat and almost dull, but the more you play I think the more you actually enjoy it and I played a lot of Lytham Trophies and a couple of Opens here.”

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