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Lee Westwood: 25 wins and counting 

Lee Westwood: 25 wins and counting 

Earlier this year Lee Westwood memorably claimed his 25th European Tour title after producing a brilliant display of front running to win the 2020 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.

Lee Westwood

The 46-year-old has enjoyed a stunning career so far, winning 44 titles around the world across four different decades, claiming seven Ryder Cup wins and achieving World Number One status.

Here is a look at Westwood's career so far.

Early success

Westwood turned professional in 1993, shortly after being crowned British Youths Champion. The Worksop native made a strong start to life on the European Tour, finishing 43rd on the Order of Merit in his rookie campaign in 1994 before securing his maiden title at the Scandinavian Masters two years later. Westwood was soon back in the winner's circle, showing himself to be a global star in the making with the first of three consecutive Taiheiyo Masters victories in Japan in November 1996 and further success at the Malaysian Open on the Asian Tour a few months later. After finishing in a tie for tenth at The Open Championship in 1997, Westwood made his Ryder Cup bow later that year, partnering Nick Faldo and earning two points as Europe won at Valderrama Golf Club to retain the trophy. Turning his attention back to individual success, he finished the year strongly - winning the Volvo Masters back at Valderrama on his way to finishing third on the Order of Merit, before closing the calendar year with victories in Japan and Australia. Westwood was becoming a serial winner around the world, stepping it up another gear in 1998 as he claimed a first US PGA Tour win, four more European Tour titles and two in Japan. Three more European Tour crowns followed in '99 before Westwood picked up another two Ryder Cup points in Europe's narrow defeat at Brookline.

Westwood wins National Car Rental English Open in 1998

Order of Merit wins and struggles in between

Despite enjoying considerable success in Europe and beyond in the late 1990s, Westwood could do nothing to prevent Scot Colin Montgomerie winning seven successive Order of Merit titles from '93 to '99. That soon changed as Westwood began the 21st century with five European Tour victories, making 2000 his most prolific season on Tour to date. That saw Westwood top the European Tour charts for the first time. He also won two further tournaments around the world in that year. Quite frankly, Westwood looked unstoppable. But there was a lean spell just around the corner, with Westwood failing to win on any tour in 2001 and 2002, seeing him slump from fourth to 266th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Westwood recovered from his loss of form by going back to basics and building from the ground up. This yielded impressive results as Westwood got back to winning ways in 2003, claiming the BMW International Open and Dunhill Links Championship titles in consecutive months to blow off any cobwebs. Westwood continued to impress in the years that followed, despite going without another European Tour title for almost four years - with one of many highlights from 2004 being his fourth-placed finish at The Open. Two wins came along in 2007 before Westwood returned to the top of the European Tour tree two years later, following up victory in Portugal with a spectacular six shot triumph at the season ending Dubai World Championship presented by: DP World to claim the Race to Dubai title in 2009.

Westwood tops Order of MeritΒ 

World Number One

There are many years in Westwood's career that will live long in the memory - perhaps none more so than 2010. He finished second at both the Masters Tournament and The Open, won in America for the second time and helped Europe to victory at the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. But maybe his most impressive achievement came along later in the year when he was confirmed as the new World Number One, ending Tiger Woods' 281-week reign at the summit. Westwood's first stint at the top lasted 17 weeks but he returned there courtesy of a superb Spring which produced wins at the Indonesian Masters and Ballantine's Championship. He remained there for another five weeks before being overtaken by fellow Englishman Luke Donald.

Westwood on top of the world

Ryder Cup star

Westwood made his Ryder Cup bow at the age of 24 in 1997 and appeared in ten consecutive biennial contests up until his most recent appearance in 2016. He was on the winning side seven times, contributing 23 points along the way. After earning two points in his first two appearances, he got three in 2002 to help Europe regain the Cup, despite struggling with his game at the time. He went unbeaten in both 2004 and 2006 before going on to play a key role in Europe's wins in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Team Europe in 1997

The race to 25

After picking up one European Tour title per season in the 2011, 2012 and 2014 campaigns, Westwood had another barren spell. This time he was in his forties and faced fierce competition from a huge number of talented young players in his fight for trophies. He ended his long wait for glory at the age of 45 in 2018, winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player - four-and-a-half years after his last European Tour win. And his scintillating win in Abu Dhabi saw him reach 25 European Tour wins and add another Rolex Series win to his collection. "I can't believe I'm that old," he said, showing emotion as it dawned on him that he had won in the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s. "It's getting harder. It's just nice to come out and keep proving that you've still got it. I won my first tournament in 1996 in Sweden. I won that tournament in three different decades and now won here this week. The 20s could be the ones for me."

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