Westwood wins with Ping prototype

Lee Westwood claimed his first win in nearly four years at the Valle Romano Open de Andalucia last week ? and it seems much of his success was down to Mark Calcavecchia’s discarded Ping putter. Calc, who had considerable input into the prototype’s development, changed the club after a poor putting round at the PGA Tour’s PODS Championship in March. The American returned the club ? an aluminium mallet design with an Anser hosel ? to the Ping tour trailer, where it was picked up by Westwood. The Englishman (pictured) experimented with it at the Masters and then put it into play for the second round in Spain where he racked up eight birdies on his way to a course-record 64. He followed it up with a 65 and 67, saving par with a 40-footer at the very last hole.

Darren out of home tournament

The chances of a home player winning this week’s Irish Open were dented after Darren Clarke had to withdraw due to injury. Medical experts told Clarke (38) that if he continued to play he risked damaging his hamstring further. Clarke sustained the injury, which forced him out of the Wachovia Championship after round one and The Players after just six holes, playing football with his two sons.

Seve to make Champions Tour debut

Spanish hero Seve Ballesteros plays in his first Champions Tour event this weekend. Seve, who has five Major victories and 87 wins to his name, has struggled in recent years with a series of injuries. The master of the short game became eligible for the American senior circuit when he turned 50 on April 9 and will hope his comparative youth will enable him to be competitive once more.

Linna lines up major amateur event

Just one year after it opened, Linna GC has been named the venue for the 2010 European Amateur Championships by the European Golf Association. Previous winners of the prestigious event have included Sergio Garcia and Carl Pettersson. The 7,224-yard layout is situated 100km north of Helsinki and features birch and pine forest and a 7km lake. Later this year Linna will host the Finnish Open with the winner qualifying for the Scandinavian Masters. The club’s touring professional, Mikko Ilonen, became the first Finn to win on the PGA European Tour at the 2007 Indonesia Open.

Air Ambulance day

The Devon Air Ambulance Trust is holding a golf day on July 19 at Teignmouth Golf Club. The event will raise funds to keep two emergency air ambulances flying over the county. The ambulances regularly help out golfers who are either injured or ill. For more details contact Glen King on 07921 586911 or visit www.daat.org.