• European Tour

Westwood raring to go in Dubai

ESPN staff
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Lee Westwood believes his short game is in fine working order after spending the off-season in Florida © PA Photos
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Lee Westwood believes his decision to relocate to the United States will pay dividends in 2013 as he prepares for his first European Tour tournament of the year at the Dubai Desert Classic.

The world No. 8 has moved to Florida, a decision that has allowed him to increase his practice time during the off-season and will serve as a suitable base for his family now that he has rejoined the PGA Tour.

Westwood, without a coach since splitting from Pete Cowan after the US PGA Championship, has linked up with fellow US-based Englishman Luke Donald in the off-season and believes the extra playing time has done wonders for his short game and putting.

"I feel like I'm coming out running," Westwood said ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic, where he finished as runner-up last year. "Hopefully, I will come out and be competitive.

"We've seen recently some of the best players struggling to find their competitive edge. I feel like I'm playing well and I have a chance."

Replacing Cowan is not a pressing concern for Westwood, who turns 40 this year, as he "doesn't feel rusty at the moment."

"I haven't really changed coaches but done away with a few," he said. "That is a big difference. I'm not going to another coach and trying a new method. I'm not making any big changes as such."

Whether the switch to the US offers him a greater chance of claiming a maiden major remains to be seen, but Westwood is not yet concerned about time running out on his career.

"That would be putting a bit of pressure on myself," said Westwood, who finished in a tie for third at The Masters but fared less well elsewhere.

"No, I try hard year every year to win a major, so just need to find a little spark that takes me from finishing second or third to winning one."

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