With Kent Gray
It’s no coincidence that Lee Westwood’s stock has risen ever since fiancée Helen Storey started looping for the 47-year-old. The 25-time European Tour winner was at it again on Thursday with a crafty 69 to be right in the mix after the opening round of the 32nd OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic. Storey takes us inside the ropes with the reigning Race to Dubai champion.

Emirates Golf Club is always a lovely venue to come back to. It is a really nice part of the world. I think all the golf courses here are lovely and the lads really like them as well. Lee is very happy with his game on the Majlis, all of his ducks are in a row.

He is looking forward to the season. Obviously, with things being rubbish back home, doing this is amazing. He is in a good place with his body, his mind and his game and he’s excited about it. We are so lucky to have this opportunity and in this bubble, and I do joke that it is a bit like a posh prison but I feel really privileged to be here and enjoying it.

It’s quite bizarre actually, we did not know what was going on in 2020 when we came off the course [Earth] until one of the guys put their head over the top and said ‘did you know that you could be in it for the Race to Dubai?’ and I was like ‘No?!’ and Lee didn’t know either. It wasn’t until after that we found out that he was in contention.

RELATED: Caddie Confidential: Poulter’s bagman reflects on another MC in Dubai

I don’t help him with anything technical. I don’t pull clubs out, I don’t do orders, I don’t do anything like that, but if I can see that he is starting to think about the tournament or if he is in the mix then I try and distract him from thinking how important it is to him. I start talking about any odd random stuff, stuff going on at home, the kids, decorating the house or whatever, just to take his mind off golf basically.

We could be talking rubbish the whole way around and then his mind would be weighing on his chances, and about using the right club, so his mind would be fried with golf one minute and I would distract him a lot the next minute.

Getty Images

RELATED: Caddie Confidential: We go inside the ropes with Andy Sullivan’s looper Tom Ridley

It depends on the occasions, everyone builds up the majors for example, but its just another big green field to me and it should be to everyone else. I try not to make it too big of a deal.

My experience at Topgolf Dubai was really good.  Lee was super impressed with it as well, he just loved it. We will be back to Dubai after the Saudi International for a couple of weeks so we will definitely come back.

Lee is taking things week to week, the schedule is all planned out and he knows where he is at but he tries not to put too much emphasis on certain tournaments, just take one tournament at a time and just enjoy it.

OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic ‘Daily News’ preview edition
OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic ‘Daily News’ round 1 edition
OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic ‘Daily News’ round 2 edition
OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic ‘Daily News’ round 3 edition

30 things for 30 years at Emirates Golf Club