Westwood focused at Valhalla

Lee WestwoodLee Westwood (14/1 – Tournament Outright) has said he is only thinking about picking up a first career major at the US PGA Championship, with a spot in the European Ryder Cup team not on his mind yet.

The 41-year-old is currently tied at the top of the leaderboard at Valhalla Golf Club after shooting a sublime six-under-par 65 on Thursday.

Westwood carded nine birdies, one bogey and a double bogey in what is looking like the Englishman’s best chance in recent years to pick up a major title.

The Worksop-born star is arguably one of the best players around to have not picked up a victory at one of the big four events, with second place at the Masters and the Open Championship back in 2010 his best results achieved to date.

The pressure had been somewhat lifted off the shoulders of Westwood heading into the US PGA, with many not expecting the Englishman to mount any serious challenge at Valhalla which looks to have benefited him.

Westwood is currently outside the automatic places for the European Ryder Cup team, but the current US PGA co-leader has said he is only focusing on putting in another good round on Friday to continue his push for a major victory.

“I think this week is more about it being a major championship and trying to win a major championship, and playing well this week. I have always felt like the Ryder Cup comes as a consequence of playing well, and there is only ever any point thinking about the Ryder Cup when you have actually made the team,” he said.

“So I break it down bit by bit – I am not smart enough to focus on two things at once – and I am just concentrating on the PGA Championship and trying to win my first major.”

Fellow European Rory McIlroy (13/8 – Tournament Outright) continued his good run of form during the opening round of the tournament as the three-time major winner carded a five-under-par 66 to sit just one shot off the lead.

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