Lee discovers what a difference a year makes
Defending champion Lee Westwood bemoaned his poor putting at the Thailand Golf Championship on Friday as he looked far from the scintillating best that saw him post a magical 60 last year.
The preamble to the event was dominated by whether the Englishman could recreate last year's opening round 12-under-par 60, which saw him narrowly miss out on a 59 – a score that has never been shot on the Asian Tour.
The world No 6 has described that round, which lit up the inaugural competition at the Amata Spring course and propelled him to a seven under par victory, as one of the very best in his garlanded career.
But after two days this time around he was five under overall, five shots behind early leader Daniel Chopra and a long way from his blistering 2011 showing.
"You don't shoot twenty under through two rounds very often and when you do, you make a lot of putts," Westwood said, comparing the 2011 feat with his second round on Friday where he notched a solid, if unremarkable, three under 69.
"I've made nothing the first two days and left too many out there. Missed too many short ones which is the main difference really."
Although he is still in contention, Westwood said he has a lot to do to retain his trophy, adding it hinged on whether he can make "more putts than I made the first two days".
Westwood has bagged more than $3 million prize money so far this year in addition to being a member of Europe's winning Ryder Cup team – although his form at the tournament was patchy.