Westwood to stick with long putter

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Lee Westwood is on the search for a longer belly putter after a week at The Masters that “makes me feel like pulling my hair out”.

The world number two and last year’s runner-up switched clubs for the final round and said after finishing 11th: “I felt a little bit more comfortable, so I think I’ll carry on with the belly putter - maybe find one that fits a little bit better.

“But I don’t see any future in the short one for the near future.”

Worksop putter Westwood carded 70 in the final round in Augusta, leaving him five under for the tournament as he continues to search for that elusive first major. It was South African Charl Schwartzel who claimed the famous green jacket, finishing on 14 under, two shots ahead of Australian duo Jason Day and Adam Scott in a pulsating final day at the 75th Masters.

Westwood said he was “abysmal” on the greens and bemoaned his inability to hole puts from four feet.

“I gave myself so many chances so to finish on five under is a killer,” he added.

Inevitably, Westwood was also asked about stablemate Rory McIlroy’s crash, especially his triple-bogey seven on the 10th when one in front.

“I’ve played with Rory a lot. When he gets under a bit of pressure he does have a pull hook in his bag,” he said.

Nick Faldo still believes in McIlroy after watching every shot of a Masters nightmare that inevitably turned his own mind back 15 years.

McIlroy’s closing round of 80 at Augusta, which sent him crashing from four shots clear to 10 shots behind winner Schwartzel had everybody thinking of Greg Norman.

And Faldo was the beneficiary at the same venue in 1996 when Norman crashed to a 78 and went from six ahead to five behind.

The Australian never won another major, but he was 41 at the time. McIlroy is 21.

“He’s young and I am sure he will re-group and come back stronger,” said Faldo, now a commentator on American television. “He was thrown in at the deep end and this is a serious deep end. You are there on your own, things get out of sync and you lose your tempo.”

It took England’s former world number one until the day after his 30th birthday to land the first of his six majors - and that came after he had finished in the top 12 of the Open no fewer than seven times in the previous nine years.

McIlroy is already amassing his own such list in the majors and this was not his first big disappointment.

At the Open last July, he followed a first-round 63 with another 80 and a month later in the US PGA Championship he missed out on the play-off by one shot after bogeying the 15th and missing a birdie chance at the last.