sport

Westwood coasts to victory

Lee Westwood cruised to resounding seven-shot victory at the Maybank Malaysia Open following a final round of 68 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

The Englishman - who also won the tournament back in 1997 - ultimately strolled to what was his 13th victory in Asia, and the 41st of his career, as his nearest rivals fell away on a final day that included a long interruption for thunderstorms.

Westwood had seen a substantial lead trimmed to just one shot by compatriot Andy Sullivan on Saturday, but Sullivan's hopes of challenging his playing partner for the title quickly evaporated with a triple-bogey seven on the second hole.

From that point Westwood was able to control the tournament from the front and produced some measured golf to post a bogey-free round featuring four birdies as he completed a wire-to-wire success with something to spare on 18-under-par.

It was the former world No.1's first victory since his triumph at the Nordea Masters in Sweden two summers ago.

A delighted Westwood said afterwards: "I started working with a new coach a few weeks ago, Mike Walker, and Billy Foster came back on my bag at the end of last year, so I was going back to what I had done before because I knew it had worked and it's started to work already.

"The last couple of weeks I've played well in Houston and then at the Masters last week and I've obviously played very well this week.

Short-game confidence

"It's a golf course I looked at and I thought it suited my game, it's quite tight in certain areas, but I played well, putted well and my short game was good."

Asked if he thought he was returning to the kind of form that saw him get to the top of the world rankings, he added: "Yeah, I think it's got the potential to get close, only now I feel like I've got a short game and I'm starting to roll some putts in.

"It makes a hell of a difference when you can get up and down if you miss a few greens, it keeps the momentum going."

Sullivan did respond well to his early setback with three consecutive birdies at four, five and six getting him back level for his round, but he would fall apart on the back nine and eventually signed for a 78 that left him down in a tie for 13th at seven-under.

Austria's Bernd Wiesberger shot 67, South African Louis Oosthuizen 68 and Westwood's Ryder Cup colleague Nicolas Colsaerts 70 to finish in a three-way tie for second at 11-under.

Meanwhile, Englishman Danny Willett double-bogeyed the last to drop to 10-under alongside Rikard Karlberg and Julien Quesne.

But no-one ever seriously looked like threatening Westwood who put the gloss on a superb performance by rolling home a 15-footer for birdie at the last.