Golf-Majors worth more than top ranking, Faldo tells Westwood

Reuters

Sun, 31 Oct 14:44:00 2010

Six-times major champion Nick Faldo has told new world number one Lee Westwood the 'big four' titles remain the best prizes in golf.

Westwood will end Tiger Woods's unprecedented 281-week reign as number one on Monday, becoming the first Englishman to head the rankings since Faldo in 1994.

Faldo, though, said his fellow countryman should use the achievement to aim even higher.

"We'll see if it inspires Lee to better things like pulling off that first major," the triple British Open and U.S. Masters champion told reporters at a pro-celebrity tournament in China.

"Lee has played consistently these last two years and we all know what's been going on with Tiger so it's time for a change.

"It's interesting how times have changed, how you can get to be number one without winning a major," Faldo added. "I never understood the points scoring system, even in my day.

"But I wanted to be number one. It is a nice one to win. But majors are the one, because you have to go and win them and finish them off."

Woods's huge lead at the top of the rankings diminished after a very public divorce this year following his admission that he had a number of extra-marital affairs.

As the American struggled to recapture his form after a self-imposed exile of nearly five months, Westwood has collected several top 10 finishes to replace the 14-times major winner as world number one.

"It's weird because I had won four majors before I got to world number one and probably the fifth one helped it," said Faldo who spent a total of 97 weeks at the top of the rankings.

Westwood is yet to collect his first major but has recorded a top-three finish in each of golf's four elite tournaments, including runner-up at this year's British Open and U.S. Masters.

(Edited by Patrick Johnston; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

 

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