Is Lee Westwood becoming the new Colin Montgomerie?

Published 14/04/2010 10:40:49

Lee Westwood is on a hot streak at the majors - he's placed inside the top three in the last three marquee tournaments. But is the Worksop man destined to be one of those best players never to win a major? Since we wrote that article, Lee has done a lot to improve his reputation on the far side of the pond, so much so that he is much-fancied at the 2010 US Open, thanks to his consistent driving.


So where does the comparison with European Tour legend Colin Montgomerie come in? Well, this is purely on a playing basis you understand - we don't want Westwood's lawyers contacting us for defamation of character. As we shall discuss, both players have great records on the European Tour, and have both had a fair few cracks at the big ones, but sadly both have fallen short. Monty's time has been and gone, it would take a miracle for him to win one now, but surely Mr.Westwood can give the English something to cheer about?


Head to head

European Tour victories:

Colin Mongomerie: 31
Lee Westwood: 20

A close one, considering Lee is the younger man and has plenty of time to catch Monty up.


European Order of Merit wins:

Colin Montgomerie: 4 (1997, 1998, 1999, 2005)
Lee Westwood: 2 (2000, 2009)

Monty out in front again, but if Westwood keeps competing in the majors, 2010 will be in the bag, and who'd bet against him to equal the four before his career is out?


Ryder Cup:

Colin Montgomerie: 4 (1997, 1998, 1999, 2005)
Lee Westwood: 2 (2000, 2009)

Both players are excellent Ryder Cup performers, but Monty wins this one hands down. He's played eight times and has never lost a singles match. Some might call him a choker on the big occasions, but I think this proves otherwise. There's no player you'd rather have on your team.

Westwood has a good Ryder Cup record, indeed he is the eighth most successful European player ever. He has represented Europe six times, and perhaps it should be seven but for some wonky leadership by then-captain Nick Faldo. 


Top ten finishes in major championships:

Colin Montgomerie: 10 (best finish 2nd, best streak two top 10s)
Lee Westwood: 9 (best finish 2nd, best streak three top 10s)

Monty has been second at the US Open three times, once at The Open and once at the USPGA. He's finished in the top ten a further five times. A great record but he must kick himself at never converting one of those seconds into a win. In recent years he's really struggled to even make the cut.

Westwood isn't far behind on top ten finishes, but hasn't got as many second place finishes as the Scot. Indeed Westwood has only really competed in recent years, where he's managed one second and three third-place finishes in the last eight tournaments.


Wrapping up

Westwood and Montgomerie are both great players, but so far both have proved that they don't have the real ability to close in on victory when it matters. The majors are what great golfers are remembered by, not Order of Merits or even Ryder Cup wins. So come on Westwood, distinguish yourself and turn those great performances into great victories.


1.  Monty has 8 orders of merit 1993-1999 and 2005

comment by John Wortman - 25/08/2010 01:42

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