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Several three-putts early in the tournament set an unfortunate tone for Lee Westwood. (Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Westwood just happy this week is over

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After finishing third in the U.S. Open, Lee Westwood had high hopes at Birkdale. He struggled with his putter, though, and knows he needs to remedy that shortcoming quickly.

SOUTHPORT, England (PA) -- After just four birdies all week, Lee Westwood admitted he will have to work on his putting if he is to challenge for titles in the second half of the season.

The Englishman came into the Open Championship as one of the favorites after his third place finish at the U.S. Open last month, but struggled to a 20-over total of 300 after a closing 73 that followed scores of 75, 74 and 78.

"It will be a relief to get away from here," said the Englishman, who tied for 67th. "I can't remember four more taxing days. It has been pretty brutal out there.

"It wasn't great first thing Thursday morning, it was freezing and you don't expect that in July. It has not really eased up all week," he added. "But I've been beaten up by the putter. I can handle the weather and I have played pretty well tee to green, but it is just demoralizing when you don't turn your good shots into birdies.

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"I three-putted the first three holes the first day and that set the tone," he said. "I didn't have a lot of confidence on the greens coming here but that made it even worse. It is never easy when you are getting blown about all over the place; you need to feel you are stroking the ball solidly because you are being buffeted around."

The 35-year-old will now spend time working on his game before heading out to Akron, Ohio, for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, which starts July 31.

"Today I've missed a few short ones, four or five inside five feet, and I'm just not making anything long," he said. "I have to work on that. It will be a bit calmer and it will be a bit quicker at Bridgestone in a couple of weeks' time.

"There was plenty there this week to encourage me," he noted. "I played great tee to green and I'm just frustrated I didn't putt well on the greens, which was similar to the Masters (where he finished tied for 11th).

"When I have putted well I have contended, so that is a positive thing for the next couple of weeks coming up," he said. "I'll practice a bit of smoothness of stroke, get out of the wind and play the two big ones in America (the Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship)."

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