Masters 2012: Lee Westwood Needs 1st Major Win to Be Considered Elite

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIApril 6, 2012

Lee Westwood has earned the world's No. 1 golfer ranking before, but the English athlete has never claimed a major PGA championship trophy.

If Westwood wants to be considered an elite golfer, he has to win the Masters this weekend.

The 38-year-old Westwood has 37 professional wins, including two on the PGA circuit. Despite these wins, Westwood has failed to win a major tournament.

Westwood, who has won European Tour Golfer of the Year three times, came close numerous times. In 2010, he led through three days by a stroke over Phil Mickelson, but the American golfer overtook Westwood with a stellar 16-under-par. That was three strokes ahead of Westwood.

Later in 2010, Westwood finished second (nine-under-par) in the British Open to Louis Oosthuizen (16-under-par). Westwood has also come in third twice in the U.S. Open (2008, 2011) and third in the PGA Championship (2009).

Standing at 6'0" and weighing 196 pounds, Westwood has good driving strength that was on display during the first two rounds of the Masters. Westwood is currently tied for second at five-under-par with Peter Hanson after 14 holes. 

Jason Dufner leads the field at six-under-par, while Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Ben Crane are all tied for third at four-under-par.

On a blustery and rainy day in Augusta, Ga., Westwood had strong drives and deft putting to have a five-under-par score on the round. He had a birdie on the 12th hole.

Finally winning a PGA majors tournament would mean that Westwood had become an elite golfer. While he had success on the European circuit, a major win puts him in the same conversation as Mickelson, McIlroy and Tiger Woods as one of golf's best players.