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Will Lee Westwood win a major in 2012?

Lee Westwood has been widely recognised as one of the best golfers in the world for many years now. Golf betting pundits note how he has been in the top five of the world rankings for some time.

There was a spell where he was No.1 in the world too - a title that now belongs to Rory McIlroy - so the Englishman has the respect of those betting on golf, no doubt about that.

There is something still missing though - a major win. Westwood is yet to win a major tournament in his career and this is something that people are still talking about and will continue to until he achieves the life-long aim.

Perhaps 2012 can be his year though. He is clearly in good form and is also in the shape of his life. Westwood has never been so fit and perhaps never been so prepared for a major challenge.

Speaking about his prospects of success in 2012, referring to a rivalry with McIlroy, he said: "If I am going to have a rivalry I would like it to be with Rory because he's arguably the hottest player on the planet at the moment."

"I am willing to go along with that if you want to write about it. I've been around a long time now - this is my 19th year out here - and there's been various rivalries thrown at me during my career."

"I really don't pay much attention to them. You learn through playing golf for a long time that the only thing you can control is your own game."

"That's all I try to do. I figure that if I'm going to keep playing well and getting in contention for tournaments, Rory's pretty much going to be in a similar position, so we're going to be playing together a lot."

What are the betting odds for Westwood to win a major in 2012 though? Well, he is 10/3 to win one with Boylesports, while Paddy Power have him at 3/1. The most likely man to win a major this year, according to the bookies, is Tiger Woods.

Clarke praises European golf

Reigning Open Champion Darren Clarke has spoken about how strong European golf is at the moment, saying that it is a 'golden era' for the continent.

With Luke Donald the No.1 golfer in the world and Rory McIlroy the current US Open Champion, European players are extremely dominant right now and Clarke wants it to continue.

Speaking about world golf at the moment, he said: "Golf over here is very strong at the moment."

"It's like the sort of dominance we had in the late 80s and early 90s, we're back to that golden era."

"You look at Rory and the way he's been playing, and what he did at the US Open."

"And you've got Luke, who finished number one in the money list in the United States and Europe."

"I don't think that will be done again. What Luke achieved was monumental."

One elite European players who still has a major success to come though is Lee Westwood.

The current World No.2 has been knocking on the door for many years and Clarke is convinced the Englishman's time will come.

On this subject, he said: "My good mate is knocking on the door - he'll win a major, or majors, sooner rather than later."

Whether this happens in 2012 remains to be seen though. There are plenty of players gunning for success of course, including former World No.1 Tiger Woods.

Speaking about the American, Clarke said: "The game needs Tiger. You remember the excitement he brought to the game when he first came on the scene."

"I'm looking forward to him taking on the likes of Rory, Lee and Luke in 2012. As talented as Tiger is, he won't be far away from his best."

It certainly does look set to be another fascinating year of golf as Europe's top players look to continue their dominance and America's finest aim to have a major impact too.

There are of course many tournaments running throughout the year, but the first major of the year is the Masters in April 2012.

Until then, you can always practice your poker game using the online blind timer

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