Westwood wins Indonesian Masters, could return to world No. 1 ranking

lee westwood
Getty Images
Lee Westwood celebrated his 38th birthday Sunday with a victory that could elevate him back into the No. 1 spot in the world ranking if Luke Donald fails to win the Heritage.
By
PA Sport and Associated Press

Series:

Lee Westwood won the Indonesian Masters on the Asian Tour Sunday to put himself in position to move back to No. 1 in the world if Luke Donald fails to win the PGA Tour event in South Carolina.

Donald had a one-stroke lead entering the final round of the Heritage and would jump from No. 3 to No. 1 with a victory Sunday afternoon. Top-ranked Martin Kaymer took the week off.

Westwood, who celebrated his 38th birthday Sunday, opened the final round birdie-bogey and then made eight straight pars. A birdie on No. 11 was the turning point in Westwood’s round.

After waiting out a lightning delay on the final hole, he finished off a 3-under 69 for a three-stroke victory over Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, as the Englishman totaled 19-under 269 at Royale Jakarta.

As he stepped off the 18th green, a portion of the gallery erupted in “Happy Birthday” -- and Westwood had plenty to smile about.

Asked what he wanted for his birthday, Lee replied with a grin, “Something silver and shiny.”

“It was quite a day, really,” he said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy with a five-shot lead. I’m experienced enough to know that patience is the key. I hit the ball great, but didn’t hit the putts when it mattered.”

Park Hyun-bin of South Korea briefly shared the lead with Westwood before a bogey on No. 11. Jaidee made a charge but missed a few key putts on his way to shooting a 65.

Thongchai shot a superb 65 to finish at 16 under while Marcus Both, Siddikur, Park Hyun-bin and Thithphun Chuayprakong tied for third on 13 under.

Westwood was relaxed over his possible return to the No. 1 spot.

"It was about coming here this week and trying to win the Indonesian Masters and I've done that," he said. "I've ticked every box this week so we will have to wait and see what happens."

Westwood was even par for the day at the turn before a birdie at the 11th saw him gain some forward momentum.

"Yeah, that was probably the hardest putt I had all day," he said. "It was 15 feet and had a three-feet break on it.

“I birdied the next with two good shots and played solidly,” he added. “I managed to pick up a few shots and birdied the 16th from four feet. I was quite comfortable after that."

Thongchai has been plagued by a back injury of late but the Thai feels his 65, that featured seven birdies, shows he is nearing his best.

"It was a good round from me and I'm happy with how I played. I played my own game and focused hole by hole and shot by shot. I played very solidly," he said.

"I started very well with five birdies in the first nine and knew it would be a good day with my putter. I missed a couple of shots in the back nine which was disappointing. I feel that I'm getting back into form after my back injury."