5 Nov 2010

Westwood makes brilliant start to reign at top of golf

5:47 am on 5 November 2010

Lee Westwood began life as golf's world number one with a sparkling 66 in the WGC-HSBC Champions first round and told Tiger Woods he could blame his own brilliance for losing the top ranking.

The 37-year-old Briton, who ended Woods' 281-week reign at the summit last weekend, played through the niggling pain of ankle and calf injuries to sit just one shot behind Italian Francesco Molinari at the top of the leaderboard.

Westwood, Woods, who started with a 68, Martin Kaymer and Phil Mickelson occupy the top four places in the rankings and a win for any one of them this week would guarantee the number one spot.

Westwood says Tiger's become a victim almost of his own brilliance, with all the other players forced to lift their game and close the gap.

Westwood says he's still not 100 percent fit and applies iced cold packs to his ankle every night to boost the healing process.