Lee Westwood, 47, has been playing some of the best golf his career in recent months and has done so — largely — with his fiancée, Helen Storey, working as his caddie.
Today, Westwood and Storey are hoping for, well, a storybook ending, as Westwood takes a two-stroke lead into the final round of The Players Championship, looking for his first win on the PGA Tour since the 2010 St. Jude Classic, and third career PGA Tour victory overall.
Westwood is seeking to win in his 15th start at TPC Sawgrass and that would match the most starts by a first-time winner in tournament history. He’d also become the tournament’s second-oldest winner at 47 years, 10 months, 18 days on Sunday. Fred Funk is the tournament’s oldest winner. He was 48 years, 9 months and 14 days when winning in 2005.
If Westwood and Storey win Sunday, it’ll be a measure of redemption.
The team had the lead going into the final round last week in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, but finished runner-up to winner Bryson DeChambeau (and caddie Tim Tucker). That was Westwood’s best finish on the PGA Tour since finishing runner-up in the 2016 Masters. Today, they’re paired with DeChambeau and Tucker once again.
“I think Helen is a big part of it,” DeChambeau said following Saturday’s third round at TPC Sawgrass. “She’s keeping him steady and level-headed. She’s a rock. Keeps his mind focused on the right things. She’s been awesome for him. And that’s one of his secret weapons, I think.”
Westwood and Storey have been a couple since 2015. Storey began caddying for Westwood in 2018 after Westwood parted ways with his caddie of 10 years Billy Foster (who currently works for Matthew Fitzpatrick and had spent several years on the bag of Seve Ballesteros).
Just two months into their player/caddie partnership, Westwood — a 25-time winner on the European Tour — ended a four-year winless drought at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa in November 2018. Storey has been on the bag, for the most part, ever since.
Along with Storey — his mostly full-time caddie — Westwood has also used the services of his son, Sam, as well as James Baker. Baker was on the bag for Westwood when he won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January 2020, but Storey caddied when Westwood finished solo second in the DP World Championship on the European Tour in December 2020 to ultimately become the oldest player in history at age 47 to win the Race to Dubai.
“I think at my stage of my career there’s not a lot a caddie can tell me,” Westwood said Saturday. “But, obviously, Helen gets me in a fantastic mood out there. Psychologically, she can help me and say the things that I need to hear. She helps me in that aspect an immeasurable amount.”
And it shows, too. Westwood’s Official World Golf Ranking of No. 31 (sure to rise higher after this weekend) is the best its been since 2014.