Westwood brings his No. 1 ranking to Ballantine's Championship in Korea

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This week, Lee Westwood will become the first No. 1-ranked player to compete in South Korea.
PA Sport and Associated Press


Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | 12:58 p.m.

Lee Westwood hopes to put on a show in the European Tour's Ballantine's Championship this week as the first No. 1-ranked golfer to play in South Korea.

Westwood reclaimed the top ranking from Martin Kaymer when he won the Indonesian Masters by three strokes in Jakarta on Sunday, his 38th birthday. Fellow Englishman Luke Donald could have overtaken Westwood hours later at the Heritage, but lost the PGA Tour event in a playoff at The Heritage in Hilton Head Island, S.C.


With four of the world's top 20 players on hand, this edition of the Ballantine's Championship features its strongest field ever.

Westwood says “it’s nice to get back to No. 1 on Sunday. I played well last week and my confidence is high.”

Westwood is also determined to add a major title to his resume after returning to the top of the world rankings.

"The world rankings and major championships are two completely separate things," he said. "I haven't won a major yet, but hope to do so soon, and all you can do when trying to win those is keep practising and doing what you believe is the right thing that is going to improve you.

"I've had a lot of good chances recently to win majors, but it just hasn't happened,” he added. “The world rankings, on the other hand, are all about consistency and playing well week in and week out, which I tend to do."

Westwood is also keen to impress and prove his status as the world's top golfer.

Told that the Korean galleries would be anticipating an outstanding display, Westwood said: "I have great expectations as well. I'm going to try to play well in this championship and hopefully, on Sunday afternoon, have a chance to win it.

" I'm looking forward to getting out there and having a look at the golf course to see if it suits me,” he explained. "I didn't realize the world No. 1 had never competed in Korea before, so it's an honor for me to bring the title of world No. 1 to Korea."

Aside from Westwood, the Ballantine's Championship field includes three-time major winner Ernie Els, PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson and European Ryder Cup players Ian Poulter and Miguel Ángel Jiménez.

Y.E. Yang -- Asia's first major winner -- leads a strong Korean challenge that also includes teenage sensation Noh Seung Yul, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion.