January 20, 2020 / 3:31 AM / a month ago

Golf: Dry January a massive mistake, jokes Abu Dhabi winner Westwood

(Reuters) - Former world number one Lee Westwood has a reputation for working hard and playing hard, but his celebration for winning the Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday is unlikely to involve any alcohol.

FILE PHOTO: Golf - European Tour - Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - Carnoustie, Scotland, Britain - September 26, 2019 England's Lee Westwood tees off on the 12th during the first round Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith/File photo

Westwood joked on Sunday that he had picked the wrong time to shun alcohol.

“I decided to do Dry January, which right now seems a massive mistake and I’ll do really well to get through tonight without a drink,” the 46-year-old Englishman told reporters, admitting that temptation was lurking around every corner.

“Everybody’s offering me one, but I’ve held out so far. Normally you’d see me with a glass of champagne or Corona (beer) in hand, but I’ve managed not to have a drink so far.

“I’ll give you an update tomorrow whether I’m still committed to the cause. But I would like to get right through the next two weeks and then we’ll see. I’m trying to lose a bit of weight, so I can’t really drink.”

It should help that Westwood will keep himself busy by playing the next two tournaments on the European Tour’s Middle East swing, the Dubai Desert Classic that starts on Thursday, followed by the Saudi International.

Once those commitments are satisfied, it will be time to enjoy a drink during a short break before gearing up for a busy spring schedule that will include the Masters in April.

If Westwood keeps playing well, he will be in the running for another Ryder Cup appearance when Europe defend their title against the United States in Wisconsin in September.

Westwood did not qualify for the 2018 showdown in Paris, which at least spared him the jangling nerves that come with the territory in golf’s premier team event.

“I thought I was done in The Ryder Cup as a player,” he said.

“I’ve played 10, and I really enjoyed watching everybody else suffer in the last one.”

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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