Skip to main content

Westwood - Tiger will be after my top spot

Click to play
Westwood trumps Woods for #1
  • World No.1 Lee Westwood tells CNN that he will not be resting on his laurels
  • Westwood took over from Tiger Woods at the top of the golf rankings on Monday
  • But the Englishman believes Woods will be trying his hardest to regain the top spot

(CNN) -- New golf world number one Lee Westwood has told CNN he will not be resting on his laurels, after officially taking over from Tiger Woods at the the head of the world rankings.

Westwood officially ended the American's five-and-a-half year reign at the top on Monday, but the Englishman revealed that getting to No.1 -- and staying there -- are two totally different things, especially with a re-energized Tiger looking to regain his ranking.

"I know Tiger very very well and know what he can do when his back is against the wall," the 37-year-old told CNN Sport's Alex Thomas.

"He seems to react well to adversity and knocks and I shouldn't imagine it'll be too long before he's back and playing his best golf and then it'll be hard to stay at the top of the rankings.

"But you know it's a challenge I'm looking forward to, but one thing nothing will ever take away is the fact I've been able to sit there and say 'I've been world number 1'

"Tiger set the bar very high a few years ago, and all the other golfers had to elevate their games to get to that level.

"If his performance drops off then other golfers have got to make sure they are there to fill his shoes and go for that top spot in the rankings," added Westwood.

Video: Westwood at Ryder Cup
Video: Lee Westwood wins Race to Dubai

Westwood admitted that being world number one, only the second Englishman to achieve the feat after Nick Faldo, is a dream come true, adding: "It's a very strange thing to try and get my head around.

"It's something you always dream of when growing up, to be able to say you're the best at something.

"Whenever you are asked the question you always say 'I want to be the best,' but when it happens, it's all a bit of a shock and it's not really sunk in yet."

Westwood hails from Worksop, a town of around 40,000 residents in the East Midlands, and as a family man, with two small children, he believes that continuing playing in Europe -- and not moving over to the big money U.S. PGA Tour -- is the way forward for his career.

"Moving to America doesn't quite fit in with the way I want to do things. They're very good to me over there, they give me invites whenever I want them, and with my golf ranking I get in to most tournaments so it's not something I want to commit myself to playing full-time," said Westwood.

"Obviously you do miss your family when playing away from home, but there's a lot of people who have it a lot worse than I have it.

"I get to travel the world, normally in first class, playing the best golf courses in the world for loads of money so you won't hear me complain about things.

"The worst thing that happens in my life is staying in hotels and packing suitcases, which is not that hard to bare really."