Written by
Mike McAllister
Jan 17 2023 - 10 Minutes

2023 will be a milestone year for Lee Westwood, whose lengthy and successful career certainly merits strong consideration for the World Golf Hall of Fame.

This week, the English star begins his 30th year as a professional golfer as he tees it up at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, site of his most recent victory. Then in April, he’ll turn 50 years old, his birthday coming the Monday after LIV Golf Adelaide as he continues to battle as one of the linchpins for Majesticks GC in the 2023 LIV Golf League.

Westwood's essential numbers are impressive: 44 pro wins, 11 Ryder Cup appearances, four Golfer of the Year awards, three Harry Vardon Trophies, two different stints as World No. 1 and career earnings that rank him second on the DP World Tour's all-time list.

But those statistics alone don't do him justice.

To celebrate his 30th season, here are 30 things (more or less) you should know about Westwood's professional career. Some you may already be aware of; some you may not. Either way, it’s been an amazing display of consistent excellence across the globe.


Of his first 29 years as a pro, he's posted at least one victory in 15 of them. His most wins in a single year is seven, which he has achieved twice – 1998 and 2000.


He's won 42 individual stroke-play events, one match play event (2000 World Match Play at Wentworth) and one two-man team event – the 2003 Nelson Mandela Invitational two-round charity tournament with South Africa's Simon Hobday.


He's one of a handful of pro golfers to win on five different continents - Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia. And he's won on six different golf tours.


His 25 career wins on the DP World Tour puts him eighth on the all-time list. The seven golfers ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame, as is the No. 9 player on the list, José María Olazábal with 23 wins.


His 44 career wins have come in 20 different countries. The breakdown:



South Africa

4 each

England, Japan

3 each

Germany, Indonesia, Sweden,

2 each

Belgium, Ireland, Malaysia, Scotland, Spain, Thailand, UAE, USA

1 each

Australia, Macau, Netherlands, Portugal, South Korea, Switzerland


He has celebrated victories on 33 different courses, multiple times on seven of them – four wins at Gary Player CC (South Africa); three wins each at Taiheiyo (Japan) and Royal Jakarta (Indonesia); and two wins each on Royal Zoute ( Belgium), Gut Kaden (Germany), The K Club (Ireland) and Amata Spring (Thailand).

Asked a few years ago why he's played so well on the Gary Player course, Westwood explained:

"I've always enjoyed putting on these greens. A lot of imagination on them. Sometimes you get some big breaking putts. It reminds me in a little way of Augusta the way you have to tackle it. You have to play away from pins and sometimes you have putts that you don't want or leave in a spot where you can't get it up-and-down. It just suit a lot of aspects of my game and I feel comfortable playing on this kind of grass. You know, kikuyu doesn't suit everybody, and you know, I have good ball control and I tend to hit a lot of fairways, so yeah, it suits me."


He won 24 times in his 20s, 15 times in his 30s and has five wins thus far in his 40s.


He's won tournaments in four different decades: The breakdown:










His first professional start was the 1994 Madeira Island Open in mid-January. He finished tied for 19th, shooting 72-69-75 in the three-round event to finish 10 strokes behind winner Mats Lanner of Sweden.


His first professional win was the 1996 Volvo Scandinavian Masters. He was two shots behind Thomas Bjorn entering the final round but shot a 68 to make the three-man playoff with Paul Broadhurst and Russell Claydon. Westwood won with a birdie on the second extra hole.


His most recent win, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in 2020, was his first pro victory in the month of January. That completed a sweep of winning pro events in all 12 months.


Four of his first six victories came in November, including the 1997 Australian Open, which ended on the last day of November. In all, he's won nine times in November, his most in any given month. Breakdown of his wins by month:



























His largest margin of victory was by 8 strokes at the 2010 Nedbank Golf Challenge as he shot 17 under. His closest pursuer was Tim Clark.


He's won seven stroke-play events via playoff, including the first two wins of his career in 1996. His career playoff record is 7-10, and he's been in playoffs on seven different tours/circuits.


One of his playoff wins came against current LIV Golf Commissioner & CEO Greg Norman at the 1997 Australian Open. Westwood won with a par on the fourth playoff hole. He recalled the win a few years ago:

"I had been playing very well in the lead-up to the ’97 Australian Open and to beat Greg in a playoff on his home soil was a very special feeling. ... I guess for everyone watching, it was though I had delivered a huge shock when I won the playoff because Greg was the home favorite and everybody was expecting him to win, and not many expecting me to succeed."


The runner-ups in his wins have come from 20 different countries. Nine different players from England have finished runner-up to Westwood, including current Majesticks GC teammate Ian Poulter. No player has finished runner-up more times to Westwood than Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke (three times).


Westwood has won on back-to-back weeks four times; he did it on two separate occasions in 1998. In 2000, he won in back-to-back starts with a week off in between.


Margins of victory in his 42 individual stroke-play wins:


7 wins

1 stroke

7 wins

2 strokes

9 wins

3 strokes

10 wins

4 strokes

2 wins

5 strokes

3 wins

6 strokes

1 win

7 strokes

2 wins

8 strokes

1 win


Westwood has played in 91 majors, making the cut 70 times, with 19 top-10 finishes. His best results are two solo seconds in 2010 (3 shots behind Phil Mickelson at Masters; 7 shots behind Louis Oosthuizen at Open) and a tie for second in 2016 (3 shots behind Danny Willett at Masters).


His most impressive major run came during a 12-start stretch between 2008-12, as Westwood finished solo second twice and tied for third an additional four times.


Westwood ended two legendary career streaks of Hall of Fame golfers in 2010. He finished atop the European Tour's Order of Merit, ending Colin Montgomerie's streak of seven consecutive crowns. And on Oct. 31, he moved to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, ending Tiger Woods' streak of 281 consecutive weeks as the world's top-ranked golfer.


He did two stints at No. 1 – 17 weeks from Oct. 31, 2010 to Feb. 20, 2011, and another 5 weeks from April 24 to May 22 in 2011. His 22 weeks atop No. 1 is the 16th most of the 25 golfers who have held the designation (as of this published date).


One golf statistics website lists Westwood's career starts at 713, with 2,442 rounds played. One ranking website lists him with 750 starts. Neither website includes all his professional starts across various tours and organizations. A conservative estimate is more than 765 starts and somewhere around/beyond 2,600 career rounds.


His lowest career round is the 12-under 60 shot in the opening round of the 2011 Thailand Golf Championship at Amata Spring. Westwood had 10 birdies and one eagle in setting an Asian Tour record for lowest score. His first five holes consisted of birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie. He told Sky Sports after his round:

"I just wanted to get off to a quick start and I did that. I made a dream start and you start thinking about 59, I guess. I came close but not close enough. I messed it up with a few pars. ... I guess 59 is one of those numbers where if it is meant to be it is meant to be."


One stats website lists all of Westwood's match play results prior to joining LIV Golf. Using those numbers, then adding his two matches at the LIV Golf Miami Team Championship last October, here is his record:

Singles matches


Team matches





During his professional career, Westwood has represented his country or his region/continent in 21 different team competitions. The most are his 11 appearances for Europe in the Ryder Cup. He's appeared in a European record 47 Ryder Cup matches.


According to the Ryder Cup, Westwood was the 118th different player to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup upon his debut in 1997. He's been teammates with 55 different European players.


His 24 points (21-20-6 record) as a Ryder Cupper ties for the third most of any player from Europe, behind only fellow LIV Golf member Sergio Garcia (28.5) and fellow Englishman Nick Faldo (25). No European player has been on more winning Ryder Cup teams than Westwood's seven.


His most frequent Ryder Cup partner is his good friend Darren Clarke; they've played eight matches together, winning six points. His next most frequent partner is Sergio Garcia with seven matches (five points).


In 2012, Westwood was appointed OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to golf. He received the honor from Queen Elizabeth during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. He told the BBC:

"I can't quite believe it. You don't imagine, when you start playing the sport you love, that you will end up receiving an award for it. It's amazing, really."