The Open: Lee Westwood earns Masters spot with Portrush performance
Last Updated: 21/07/19 7:30pm
Lee Westwood was unable to challenge Shane Lowry during the final round of The Open but his joint-fourth-placed finish had a silver lining in the shape of a place in next year's Masters.
The 46-year-old Englishman closed with a two-over 73 at Royal Portrush to finish on six under, where he was joined by Brooks Koepka after the American did him a favour by bogeying the 17th.
With the top four and ties securing an invite to Augusta National next April, Westwood will now end a two-year absence from the Masters, a tournament in which he has twice finished runner-up as well as securing four other top-10 finishes.
"It would be nice to play Augusta again," he said before his final placing was confirmed.
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"I've missed it the last couple of years. Augusta is a very special place. And I played great in the past, I had a chance to win it. Augusta is another one I don't strictly think it's a bomber's paradise, although I think it helps. If you've played it a lot and you play it well, there's a lot of repeat winners.
"I feel like I can get it around there. I've had a couple of close calls, second a couple of times and third a couple of times."
Westwood has enjoyed his week in Northern Ireland and was pleased with his performance in the rain and wind on Sunday.
"It was a tough day out there today, wasn't it?" he added. "Yeah, everything was hard. Driving was hard. It was hard to get in the fairways. Iron shots, hard to control the distances. Putting was really tricky. There's some really exposed greens out there.
"You find yourself giving it a couple of foot for the breeze and then don't move, and on the next it takes it sideways. So that's frustrating. But I'm pleased, yeah. I played well. Really solid today. It was a good 73."