by Jeff Skinner
Some familiar names took home the trophies around the world as all three winners have made strong statements that they will be forces to be reckoned with in 2012.
Lee Westwood made his statement with a seven stroke win over Charl Schwartzel at the Asian Tour’s Thailand Golf Championship. Westwood’s 22 under par victory also gave him enough points to overtake Rory McIlroy for the second slot in the Official World Golf Rankings. It was Westwood’s fourth world wide victory with wins at The Indonesia Masters, The Ballantine’s Championship in Korea and The Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. It appears that Westwood’s’ game travels very well.
“The win means a lot. It is special because of the difficulty of the golf course,” said Westwood. “A 69 was a good score. Going from four in front to seven in front, I am obviously delighted.” It seems odd that the world number one and two golfers still have yet to win a major. That fact wasn’t lost on Westwood,” I am in a tricky position because I’ve been so successful but not won a Major.”
Westwood’s countryman, Ian Poulter made his own statement with a win at The JB Were Australian Masters. Poulter came from two strokes behind Geoff Ogilvy to win on a windy day in Melbourne. Poulter wasted no time in the final round as he eagled the first hole to pull even with Ogilvy, the hometown favorite. Poulter also moved up in the world rankings and was thrilled to win on such a difficult day. “After the first couple of days when there wasn’t much wind people may have thought the Victoria Golf Club was easy, but they were mistaken,” Poulter said. “It certainly showed its teeth today.”
“For me it was a pure ball-striking round of golf,” Poulter said. “It was flawless the whole day. I was very happy with how I approached every shot. I hit my targets, I was fairly methodical. For me it was a nice round of golf.”
The youngest of the tree winners this week was Lexi Thompson. The sixteen year old has now won on the two biggest women’s tours in golf. Her win this weekend at The Dubai Ladies Masters paired with her win at the LPGA’s Navistar Classic makes her the hottest female golfer this side of Yani Tseng.
“Both tournaments have great competition, the best from both sides and countries, so it’s just an honor to be at both events” said Thompson. “Both were equal wins. Just Navistar was my first one. But both I’m definitely going to remember, that’s for sure.”
Just like most teenagers, Thompson is very aware of her appearance and may just make blue her final round color since both her wins have come in that outfit. “It’s probably always going to be blue. It will probably be the same outfit every day. I’m really superstitious. Like I’ll eat the same things, I’ll wear lady bugs [earrings] everyday. It’s weird but I’m really superstitious. It worked.”