Wonderful Westwood wins Ballantine's


ICHEON, South Korea, May 2- Lee Westwood won the Ballantine's Championship on Sunday with a flawless final round of golf to retain his position as world number one.
The Englishman proved his class at the Blackstone Golf Club near Seoul, carding five birdies on his way to a superb last round 67 and 12 under par for the tournament, a shot clear of Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Westwood did not drop a single shot on his last round but faced an agonising wait in the clubhouse as Jimenez came up the easy par five 18th breathing down his neck.

But the Spaniard’s hopes of forcing a playoff were dashed when he overhit his second shot into a bunker behind the green and missed the birdie putt he needed from 15 feet.

Westwood needed a top five finish at the Ballantine’s to stop Germany’s Martin Kaymer overtaking him as number one after just a week on top and the win is his first on the European Tour since November 2009.

He has now recorded back-to-back tournament victories following his triumph at the Indonesian Masters last week.

After thunderstorms called an early halt to the third round on Saturday, Westwood was left with 24 holes to play on Sunday but kept his concentration in blustery conditions.

"Professional golf is all about winning and it’s great to do it back-to-back two weeks in a row," he said.

"When you’re world number one it’s always nice to come to a place and play like you’re world number one and I think I did do that this week.

"It was very tough out there and to go around without making a bogey, five birdies and 13 pars was a special round of golf I think."

Resuming his third round on Sunday in a tricky position on the 13th, the 38-year-old dropped a shot but responded with birdies on the 14th and 17th before launching his final round charge.

Jimenez had a share of the lead after the third round and put on a fine display of short iron play and putting but ultimately he paid the price for two bogeys on the front nine.

Westwood said he had shared a bottle of wine over dinner with Ryder Cup teammate Jimenez on Saturday and jokingly said to him: "See you tomorrow in a playoff".

The keen football fan said waking up to find out his team Nottingham Forest had won 5-1 on Saturday had spurred him on.

Local fans were given something to cheer as Park Sang-Hyun, sporting dazzling pink trousers, sank a sensational putt from off the green to eagle the 18th and grab third place with 10 under par for the tournament.

Big-hitting US star Dustin Johnson carded a final round 69 to end the tournament in fourth on nine under par, but the testing multi-tiered greens were too much for Ian Poulter and Ernie Els, who both missed the cut.