Reuters - Mon, 12 Jul 18:30:00 2010
World number three Lee Westwood is hoping his injury woes play in his favour as he bids for a first Major at this week's Open.
"Beware the injured golfer, that's the old saying," the 37-year-old Briton said at the famous Old Course, hosting the 150th anniversary Open starting on Thursday.
"Hopefully that will ring true," he added.
Westwood has been in superlative form over the last 12 months, finishing as European number one last year for a second time after his 2000 success while also racking up three top-three finishes in his last four majors.
However at the French Open earlier this month his right leg began to swell up and it emerged he had ruptured his plantaris muscle, an ailment Westwood put down to age rather than any particular incident.
"It's still not quite right. It doesn't hurt as much as in Paris, but it's just a case of managing it this week," he said.
Such is the stature of the Open, the year's third major and the oldest of the four, that Westwood said he would not miss it for the world.
"Apparently it's six to eight weeks recovery time if you put your feet up, but with this being the biggest tournament on the calendar I can't really afford to do that," he said.
"I've been looking forward to this week for quite some time.
It's the home of golf, a rich history to the golf tournament, especially when it's held at St Andrews.
"I think it's even more special when the Open Championship is here, and obviously it's one I'd like to win. I'm looking forward to Thursday when we get going," he said.
Westwood was equally unconcerned about his chances on the testing links layout.
"It's a while since I've played links golf, but when I have played links golf lately I've played it well. It's a form of golf I enjoy."
Westwood also said he had taken plenty of advice on the injury and there was not a danger of him aggravating the injury by competing.
However it will not be an excuse should Westwood struggle for form during the tournament.
"Obviously it doesn't help, but I'm hitting the ball well, feel like I'm very comfortable on these greens. So I'm still hoping for a good week," he added.