January 21, 2014
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Lee Westwood is playing in the Farmers Insurance Open for the second time in his career. (LaBerge/Getty Images)
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Lee Westwood had forgotten how beautiful Torrey Pines is.
The two golf courses at one of the country's premier public golf facilities meander along the rugged cliffs and white beaches of the Pacific Ocean. The sunsets are nothing short of magnificent, and the golf well above par.
"My memory didn't do it justice," the Englishman acknowledged.
Prior to this week, the only time Westwood had played in the Farmers Insurance Open was in 2004 when he shot 76-69 and missed the cut. He had considerably more success at the 2008 U.S. Open here, though, as he held the lead through 63 holes and went on to tie for third, one shot out of the playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate.
"It's a good golf course for me this week," Westwood said.
Until this year, the 40-year-old had always started his season playing in the Middle East on the European Tour. But Westwood, who now makes his home in Florida, was ready for a change in 2014.
"Last year I felt pretty tired so I decided I would cut back on the jetlag a little bit," said Westwood, who arrived in southern California rested after a five-week break.
Also on his schedule for the first time is next week's Waste Management Phoenix Open. He'll take a week off, then play the Northern Trust Open and World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship before heading home for The Honda Classic and the Florida swing.
One of the reasons for adding the popular tournament in Phoenix? Westwood is a PING guy, and the manufacturer's headquarters are in the Arizona city. But that's not all.
"They've always said we'd like you to at some point play Phoenix because they're based there," Westwood said. "I want to experience that tournament, play the 16th hole and stuff like that. I've always heard a lot of good things about that tournament, so it made sense to play these two, start my year off here."