Westwood ready for more at Scottish Championship presented by AXA

Lee Westwood is aiming to turn his recent consistent form into his 26th European Tour victory when he tees it up at the inaugural Scottish Championship presented by AXA.

The former World Number One started the season as he meant to go on, recording his second Rolex Series victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, and he hasn’t missed a cut since the season restarted in July, when he took on hosting duties at the Betfred British Masters.

The Englishman arrives at Fairmont St Andrews – which is hosting a European Tour event for the first time – on the back of five consecutive top 20 finishes, but he’ll face a strong challenge from a field that includes another player in enviable form,  Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open champion Aaron Rai.

“I feel like I’ve elevated my consistency,” said Westwood. “I’ve played well the last few weeks. A couple of shots here and there could have turned 13th to 20th, into top fives and top tens. With a bit more luck and a few breaks going my way, even down to the US Open, parring the last two holes turned a 13th into a fifth.

“The standard of golf I’ve been playing has been high. I’m looking forward to this week, carrying it on and seeing if I can eliminate a couple of silly mistakes and be in there with a chance on Sunday.

“I always enjoy coming to this area to play golf. I haven’t played the golf course yet but I believe it’s good. It’s in great condition apparently. The greens are fantastic. If the forecast is correct we might see some low scoring this week. But it’s so changeable on this coast. Without wind most links courses become scoring opportunities because they are built around ten to 20 mile-per-hour winds and they have to stay playable in those conditions.”

Richie Ramsay is one of 16 home favourites in the field as the European Tour’s second UK Swing of the season comes to a close in the world-famous surrounds of St Andrews, and he’s looking to build on his performance at last week’s BMW PGA Championship, where he ended the week as the highest placed Scot with a top 20 finish.

“Momentum is such a big thing and confidence is such a big thing,” said Ramsay. “You’ve got just to be confident. You can’t say, well every time I just play golf I’m going to be confident. Your attitude has got to be there all of the time. You can see it with form guys who get on little runs, and suddenly it’s top ten after top ten, or they’re in the mix.

“Golf is so mental that even if it’s one two or three percent change, at the top level it makes a huge difference. And when I get going, I will play well. Belief and confidence is something that’s priceless in golf.

“The course is in really good condition. First of all, the greens are absolutely fantastic. For greens to be like this in the middle of October is almost unheard of. It’s like two different types of courses. The first eight holes are a little bit different – a little bit more space off the tee. But then once you play on what I would say is the St Andrews side, you’ve got to hit it pretty straight, the rough is pretty thick.”

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