CLOSE House attached professional Lee Westwood is convinced he can continue to challenge for an elusive first major title into his 50s after being crowned the European Tour’s Golfer of the Year for the fourth time.

The 47-year-old, who has made his home the North-East due to links with the Heddon-on-the-Wall golf club, who started the season with victory in Abu Dhabi and finished it by winning the Race to Dubai, said lockdown afforded him a fresh opportunity and rubbished suggestions that advancing years should start to count against him.

He said: “It gave me the opportunity to be at home, to not think about golf, to get fit - it has paid off already and I don’t see why it shouldn’t pay off into the next few years. I don’t see any reason why I can’t play well into my fifties, not just a couple of last hurrahs. I don’t feel like a 47-year-old, I feel like a 25-year-old. I know people say as you get older you lose distance and stuff like that, but physically why can’t you play well at 47 or 48?"