Westwood loses hope at Open Championship

A major championship victory is the only thing missing from Lee Westwood's impressive career.

Westwood loses hope at Open Championship

Lee Westwood, considered the best player to never win a major by many, will have to wait longer for major glory. Westwood shot a 1-over 71 Saturday and is at 4-over 214 for the week.

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) -- Lee Westwood needed a fast start and some nasty weather to move into contention at the Open Championship.

He got neither.

Not even playing alongside golfing great Tom Watson could inspire Westwood as the No. 3-ranked player struggled to 1-over 71 in glorious morning conditions at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, for 4-over 214.

It's been a hugely disappointing week for Westwood, who was heavily tipped to end his major drought here with the course set-up appearing to suit his usually accurate game.

However, after rounds of 73 and 70, he set out in the second grouping at 8.20 a.m. local time and immediately found himself in trouble by bogeying three of the first six holes.

"Not hitting the ball great ... nothing's been that good this week," the 39-year-old Westwood said.

The PGA Championship at Kiawah Island will be his next opportunity to win a major in what will be his 60th attempt.

Watson, an eight-time major winner, is a big fan of Westwood and believes his time will come on the biggest stage after so many near misses.

"I wish I could have inspired him with my play, I think I dragged him down," said the American, who made the cut by birdieing No. 18 on Friday but shot a 76 the following day. "He will be there again, I expect him to win a major championship. He has a lot of talent, has a variety of shots, and hits the ball with authority."

Westwood said Friday that the wind would have to come to his rescue this weekend if he was to have any chance of hauling back the leaders. He teed off at the par-3 first in still, sunny conditions.

By the time he tapped in for bogey at No. 18, he was 14 shots behind overnight leader Brandt Snedeker.

Westwood said shooting a third straight round in the 70s didn't stop him enjoying his round with Watson, who the Englishman first played with in the Dunlop Phoenix in 1996.

"Very easy to play with," Westwood said. "He's a great ambassador for the sport."