Lee Westwood has played in eight U.S. Opens, with his best finish coming in 2000 at Pebble Beach. He placed fifth. Westwood could be Europe’s best hope to win the U.S. Open. It’s been 38 years since Tony Jacklin took the prize back to Britain and Westwood would dearly like to break that drought. He stayed in contention until the end, missing a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 18 that would have put him in Monday's playoff. He shared his thoughts with usopen.com.
Well, it's sickening not to be in the playoff tomorrow, but all in all I played pretty good all week and if somebody said you're going to have a chance from 20 feet for a playoff on Monday then I would have probably taken that at the start of the week.
So that is the way I’m looking at it.
I was aware I had the lead after nine, but I saw Rocco [Mediate] made a couple of birdies so I knew it was close. I could have played my way out of it completely after 10, 12, 13, but a lot of strange things happen the last few holes of major championships, as they did today. I made a good birdie at 14 and just failed to make birdie at the last.
On the 18th, I got a little bit too close to the green and I was caught between sand iron and lob wedge and I don't really want to hit a lob wedge hard, because getting anything coming back fast down that green and it's in the drink. So it was a wedge.
These fairway traps have been difficult all week to play out of and you really need to take them absolutely clean and sometimes you catch them a bit thin as I did on 10, and as I did on the last and it went just a little bit farther. I was looking for like 96, 97 yards to the front and I got 100 or I got about 88, so that was why I didn’t get it done on the last.
In the end, my felling are slightly tinged with disappointment. But all and all I’m pretty happy with the way I held things together. I didn’t get as nervous as I thought I would get out there and I made some great putts under pressure, the putt on the 17th was brilliant considering the circumstances.
So while I'm disappointed, I'm pleased with myself and I think that I've proved to myself and a few others that I think there is a major championship in me.
I can’t wait for the next one.