Lee Westwood is hoping to give Greg Norman another trophy (and he took a shot at pace of play)

Soon after Bryson DeChambeau’s historic victory at Pinehurst No. 2 gave LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman a chance to hold the U.S. Open trophy for the first time, another of the fledgling circuit’s players is circling the waters in the nation’s smallest state, hoping to give Norman more hardware to caress.

Lee Westwood is making his debut at the U.S. Senior Open this week and he’s coming off an impressive third-place finish in LIV Golf Nashville, an event won by Tyrrell Hatton. It marked Westwood’s best finish of the season and a similar effort would certainly get him in contention at Newport Country Club for the Francis D. Ouimet Memorial Trophy, which Norman also never won in three chances.

Westwood’s putter was better than it had been in recent outings, and he attributed the impressive finish to a stronger all-around short game that he’s been sharpening up.

“I went to Nashville and carried on really with that theme, those swing thoughts,” he said. “Played well on the final day, which was good. I haven’t been finishing tournaments off, so fun for the last four holes and finish that tournament off strongly has given me a lot of confidence going into this week.”

Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood of England tees off from the 7th hole during day one of LIV Golf – London at The Centurion Club on July 07, 2023 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Westwood isn’t the only LIV Golf member in the field this week. Senior PGA Championship winner Richard Bland is also playing the course that hosted the first U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open back in 1895. And Westwood said the reaction he has heard has been overwhelmingly positive in terms of getting the best field for players 50 and over.

“The consensus of opinion of everybody that I talked to said it’s great to see myself and Richard playing here. I think, when you look at the U.S. Open two weeks ago or the Masters or the PGA Championship, people are happy to see Bryson or Cam or Jon Rahm coming and playing in those big events,” Westwood said. “It’s basically getting all the best players together in one tournament to compete against each other, and that’s what you want at the highest level. You want all the best players there. We’ve been asked to play well this week. Carry on the form of last week.

“I’m looking forward to this week. Looking forward to the first couple of rounds, playing with a couple of old friends, Miguel and Jerry Kelly.”

Westwood, who represented Europe in 10 Ryder Cups and held the number one spot in the Official World Golf Ranking back in 2010, had an interesting observation after chumming around with his senior brethren. Westwood is one of 52 players in the field making their U.S. Senior Open debut.

“I’ve had fun the last couple of days. Meeting a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time that I played out here with, people that I haven’t seen since my amateur days. I recognized some faces, and then they introduced themselves, and I’m like, wow, yeah, it’s been 35 years,” he said.

“What I have noticed is practice rounds out here are way faster than everywhere else. It’s such a joy, and it’s so refreshing to play nine holes in two hours in a practice round. It’s incredible. If the old guys can do it, why can’t the young guys do it?”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek