Lee Westwood ended a two-year winless drought with a seven-shot victory at the Malaysian Open yesterday.
After a four-hour delay due to the threat of lightning in the middle of the final round, Westwood went on to shoot a four-under par 68 to complete an 18-under 270 at the Kuala Lumpur Country Club course for his 36th career victory.
Westwood led from start to finish in the co-sanctioned European and Asian Tour event that he also won in 1997.
“It’s a golf course that suits my game; it’s very tight in certain areas. I played well, I putted well, and the short game is good,” Westwood said.
South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (68), the 2012 champion, along with Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts (70) and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger (67), shared a distant second place on 11-under.
The win will not only improve Westwood’s ranking, but also help him improve on his current 20th place in the European Ryder Cup standings.
“I feel like I’ve got a short game back and I’m starting to roll a few putts in,” he added. “It makes a helluva difference if you can get up-and-down if you miss a few greens as it keeps the momentum going.”
Westwood, who turns 41 next week, went into the final round leading by one having let slip a four-shot second round lead.
However, the 36th-ranked Englishman, and highest ranked player in the field, again found himself four clear after only two holes where nearest rival and playing partner Andy Sullivan triple-bogeyed the second hole after finding water with his tee shot.
Westwood’s drive to victory was then halted mid-afternoon, when the threat of lightning stopped play and his lead at four through 11 holes.
He returned to the course after a delay of four hours and 13 minutes to birdie the 13th for a six-shot lead.
Westwood then underlined his class with a birdie on the last.