Published June 09, 2012
| Sports Network
Stockholm, Sweden – Lee Westwood posted a three-under 69 to cruise to his third victory at the Nordea Masters in a rare Saturday finish on the European Tour.
Westwood, whose first European Tour victory came here in 1996, was the only player in the field to post four rounds in the 60s and finished at 19-under 269. He won by five shots at Bro Hof Slott Golf Club.
"It feels really special," Westwood said on TV. "I've won it in three decades now which shows you how old we're all getting right now."
Westwood, the third-ranked player in the world, will certainly take momentum into next week's U.S. Open. He will go to Olympic Club as one of the favorites to finally shed the label as best player to never win a major.
"The positive is that I played really well this week," Westwood said in a televised interview. "You don't win tournaments by five shots without playing really well."
Ross Fisher managed a one-under 71 on Saturday to take a distant second at minus-14.
Sergio Garcia threw a charge at Westwood in the final round, but was done in by a watery tee ball at 17. The Spaniard carded a five-under 67 and shared third with Mikko Ilonen (68) and Peter Hanson (71) at 13-under par.
Westwood began the final round with a three-shot lead and some players got within two early Saturday. Westwood rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt at the third, but he missed some opportunities in the middle of the round.
He had six feet for birdie at four, but left it short. Two holes later, Westwood lipped out a four-foot par putt, but his margin was still three strokes.
With his lead fluctuating between two and three based on Fisher's play, Westwood missed another shortish putt, this time a seven-footer for birdie at No. 10.
After Garcia got within two, he flushed his tee ball at 17 to fall off the pace. Westwood distanced himself with an eight-foot eagle putt at the par-five 12th.
Westwood's lead was up to four. A two-putt birdie at the par-five 15th gave him a six-shot cushion when Hanson, Garcia and Fisher all faltered late.
Westwood parred out for his 22nd European Tour victory.
"I missed a few short putts on the front nine and I had a lot of chances the first 10 holes. Could've really put some breathing space between me and the field," he said. "Having said that, I missed a couple, but when I needed to, around the back nine, as it started to get a little bit closer, I managed to make a great eagle at 12 and birdie at 15 and pull away."
Joakim Lagergren posted a three-under 69 on Saturday and took sixth at 12- under 276.
Richard Sterne (68), Jeev Milkha Singh (70) and Felipe Aguilar (70) shared seventh at minus-11.
NOTES: Westwood won this week without his regular caddie, Billy Foster, who injured his knee about a month ago...Westwood also won this week with new clubs in his bag...The Wednesday-Saturday scheduling was so players could get to San Francisco for the U.S. Open in plenty of time...Last year's winner, Alexander Noren, managed an even-par 72 on Saturday and tied for 10th at 10- under...Next week is the U.S. Open, where Rory McIlroy will defend his title, but also the Saint-Omer Open, where Matthew Zions won last year.