Mental notes help Westwood on Earth Course

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Mental notes help Westwood on Earth Course
Lee Westwood tees off in Round 1 of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Thursday.

Dubai - Former World No 1 leads on Day 1 of DP World Tour Championship

By James Jose

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Published: Thu 17 Nov 2016, 6:29 PM

Last updated: Thu 17 Nov 2016, 8:38 PM

Former world No.1 Lee Westwood felt this was the best he has played in quite a while and said that the "good memories" and mental notes from years gone by at the Earth Course of the Jumeirah Golf Estates clearly helped him on the day.
Westwood, who has had some really good results here in Dubai, apart from winning the inaugural DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai in 2009, shot a near flawless round of six-under 66 to perch himself at the very top of the leaderboard after the first round of the DP World Tour Championship at the Earth Course on Thursday.
The 43-year-old Westwood, who has 23 wins on the European Tour, reeled off seven birdies in his round, with the only blip being a bogey on the par-4 12th.
"It was all good. I played lovely and hit a lot of fairways, a lot of good iron shots, putted nicely and didn't make too many mistakes out there," Westwood said after his round on Thursday.
"It's a golf course I've played well on in the past and I've had quite a few good results here other than the win. I've played pretty well in the desert and I've been looking forward to this week," he added.
And Westwood was satisfied with how it had panned out on the day. "This is as good as I've played for quite some time. I've found a couple of keys in different parts of my game and I've been working on them hard. And it all came together today. 66 is a good round of golf," said Westwood.
Westwood also said that mental notes from previous years at the Earth Course perhaps helped him conjure such a round.
"Any time you play a golf course that you've got good memories on and you've played well on in the past, you remember certain shots you've hit and it helps with certain flags they put out. You get familiar with the golf course, certain flags, and the breeze will be blowing from a certain direction, don't want to miss it in certain spots, and you learn that through years of playing," he said.
Talking of good memories, Westwood, who was ranked world No.1 in 2010, said that his 2009 win in Dubai was right up there with his best performances.
"It's certainly in the top two or three performances in my career, maybe even best performance of my career, knowing that I needed to win to beat Rory (McIlroy) in the Race to Dubai, and did that by six and pretty much dominated the field over the weekend. So, it's right up there," Westwood said.
Coming back to the here and now, Westwood said that he was tempering his expectations for the weekend and will take it as it comes.
"I don't really have any expectations. I will just try to keep playing the way I'm playing, keep rolling the ball on the greens at the moment and keep making a lot of birdies and hopefully have a chance come the weekend," he said.

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