As of this writing, Lee Westwood is scorching the greens at Muirfield, needing just 81 putts over three rounds to seize the lead at the British Open.
This is a guy who currently ranks 131st in “total putting” and 154th in “strokes gained – putting” on the PGA Tour.
So what happened? Ian Baker-Finch happened. Apparently, Westwood spent some one-on-one time with Baker-Finch on the putting green last weekend, resulting in what Westwood called a “light bulb” moment.
“It was more about feel than technique, gripping it more lightly and loosening everything up,” Westwood said. “It was good. It’s a mental thing.”
This is advice that many recreational golfers might want to heed as well. As leading instructor Stan Utley writes in The Art of Putting, “Most players have too much tension in the shoulder and elbow joints when they putt, sometimes to the point of total lockdown.
We’ll see if Westwood can remain loose with his PING putter on Sunday amid the mounting pressure in the race to hoist the claret jug.