Essential Golf: A passion for the Game

Lee Westwood, Andrew Landry and Matt Kuchar Enjoy Victories

Lee Westwood rolled back the years to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship by two shots, while Andrew Landry joined him on this week’s winners’ list after claiming his own two-shot victory in The American Express.

And in another strong field on the Asian Tour, Matt Kuchar held off Justin Rose by three shots in the Singapore Open to claim the 16th victory of his career.

Englishman Westwood, now 46, made it European Tour victories in each of the last four decades as he beat a top-class field at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the first full event of the season.

Westwood’s closing round of 67 in the Emirates was enough to finish two shots clear of his compatriots Matt Fitzpatrick and two-time winner Tommy Fleetwood as well as France’s Victor Perez.

It made it 44 career wins for Westwood and 25 on the European Tour, and it provides a significant boost to the veteran’s hopes of making another Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in September.

“It’s been a good week,” Westwood said. “I am just really happy the way I controlled myself. I wasn’t paying attention to other people, I was just trying to control my emotions.”

On the Asian Tour in Singapore, Kuchar’s total of 18-under par and three-shot victory over Rose didn’t tell the full story. The American was cruising to victory before a triple bogey eight threatened to derail his hopes. But birdies on the 16th and 18th got him across the line.

Kuchar said: “I turned it into more of a competition that I thought it would be, and it was one of my best putts for an eight.

“Golf and life have a lot of similarities. When you face difficult times, it’s how you persevere and overcome those things. To make a great turnaround and play a great back nine to close out the tournament with birdies on the 16th and 18th was a real thrill.”

On the PGA Tour, a high-scoring week ended fittingly with Landry holing two closing birdies to seal a two-shot victory over Abraham Ancer, who had put himself into contention after a nine-under par final round at the PGA West Stadium Course.

The two late gains saw Landry finish on 26-under after the week playing across the Stadium Course, the PGA West Course and the La Quinta Country Club. The American had earlier dropped three shots on successive holes on the back nine before his closing birdies.

It was a second PGA TOUR wins for Landry, who scored his maiden victory in the Texas Open in April 2018.

“It feels great,” Landry said. “Winning out here is hard. Nobody said it was gonna be easy (and I) had to dig deep. What an amazing week.

“It’s hard when you have a big lead because then you kind of start playing a little defensive, and instead of playing defensive you need to be playing more aggressively and just keep hitting the shots that you need to hit.”

See also: FedExCup: Does Matt Kuchar Have a Chance?
Did Matt Kuchar Cheat at the Memorial Tournament?
Who Is First-Time PGA TOUR Champion Andrew Landry?