Who is Lee Westwood’s caddie? Helen Storey is his ‘secret weapon’
Lee Westwood, during Saturday’s third round at the Players Championship, slid a 9-foot putt for birdie just left of the cup at TPC Sawgrass‘ 2nd hole. Then he missed an 11-footer for birdie just left of the cup on 3. Then a 13-footer for birdie just left of the cup on 4. Three birdie putts, three pars. On 9, a 5-footer for birdie just snuck past the left side of the hole. Westwood scratched the back of his head, slapped his right thigh and shook his head.
Nine holes later, he was the 54-hole leader by two shots.
First, back to No. 10 really quick. Westwood made an 11-footer for birdie. He quickly pumped his right fist, then paused, stared at his caddie and pumped his fist again. Before laughing. For a good 15 seconds.
With his fiancee as his caddie, the memories of misses are gone before the next shot. The makes are much more memorable with Helen Storey.
“Yeah, I think at my stage of my career, there’s not a lot a caddie can tell me, but obviously Helen gets me in a fantastic mood out there, and psychologically she can help me and say the things that I need to hear,” Westwood said Saturday. “You know, she helps me in that aspect an immeasurable amount.”
Back to 4 on Saturday, where he missed the 13-footer. Westwood was 135 yards out after a drive into the left rough and hit his second shot. It landed right of the hole and started crawling closer. “Come on there. Go on. Don’t stop there,” he said as it slid. “Come on!”
Storey laughed. The ball would stop. “You’re kidding,” Westwood said. Storey laughed again.
Jump ahead to 17. After making a 24-footer for birdie on the Sawgrass island green, which gave him a two-shot lead heading into Sunday, after Westwood pumped his right fist and raised his right hand skyward to the delight of the gallery left of the hole, Storey snuck in. She playfully raised her hands like a boxer before giving him a fistbump and a smile.
Westwood was playing golf with his caddie. He was also playing golf his fiancee, too.
“I think Helen is a big part of it,” said Bryson DeChambeau, who was in the final pairing with Westwood last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and this week at the Players. “She’s keeping him steady and level-headed and she’s a rock. Keeps his mind focused on the right things, and she’s been awesome for him, and that’s one of his secret weapons, I think.”
Indeed. According to multiple reports, Westwood and Storey, a fitness instructor, began dating after his divorce in 2015, he started using her as a caddie late in 2018, then won that week to snap a four-year winless drought. He would keep her on the bag. Among his successes since then are a second-place finish at the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship last December (which enabled him to win the season-long Race to Dubai), the 54-hole lead last week at the Arnold Palmer and the 54-hole lead at this week’s Players.
“I care less about the outcomes,” Westwood said earlier this week. “I still care about my performance, and that in turn leads me to work as hard as I’ve always worked. But I’ve been working with a psychologist for a few years now, and we just focus on the process, we don’t focus on the outcomes and things we can’t control.
“The only thing I can control when I go out there is the process and making sure I have fun. I make sure I have fun.”