Born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, Lee began to play golf aged 13 with a half set bought by his grandparents. A talented sportsman at school, Lee also played rugby, cricket and football.
In 1990 Lee won his first amateur event and was crowned the Nottinghamshire Junior County Champion in 1992. After winning the British Youth championship in 1993, Lee turned professional and played his debut season on the European Tour in 1994, finishing 43rd on the Order of Merit.
In 1996, Lee won his first professional tournament, the Volvo Scandinavian Masters, which was closely followed by the Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters in Japan. His success continued in 1997, defending his Japanese title and winning the Malaysian Open, the Volvo Masters in Spain, and the Holden Australian Open, eventually beating Greg Norman in a playoff.
In 2000 Lee won an impressive seven tournaments worldwide and claimed the European Tour Order of Merit, ending Colin Montgomerie’s seven year run of European Tour dominance.
Between 2001 and 2009 Lee racked up a further six victories, ending the 2009 season winning the inaugural Dubai World Championship shooting 8 under par in the final round to take the title by six shots. With this win Lee claimed his second European Tour Order of Merit title and was crowned the first official ‘Race to Dubai’ winner.
In 2010 Lee reached the summit of golf when on October 31st he ended Tiger Woods’ five-year reign at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking, a position Lee would go on to hold for a total of 22 weeks.
Lee has enjoyed a glittering career, winning a total of 43 titles around the world, including 24 victories on the European Tour. Lee is one of only a handful of golfers to have won tournaments on five continents (Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia).
Lee has finished runner-up three times in Major Championships and has made ten appearances in The Ryder Cup for Europe, winning on seven occasions, including the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012, which was widely regarded as one of the best sporting comebacks of all time and the greatest in Ryder Cup history. He was unbeaten in the 2004 and 2006 Ryder Cups and equalled Arnold Palmer’s record at Valhalla in 2008, when he made it 12 straight matches without defeat.
On 11 November 2018, Westwood fired an eight-under 64 to storm to a three-shot victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Westwood’s win in Sun City, South Africa claimed his 24th European Tour victory and his first since the 2014 Malaysian Open.
Lee became an ambassador for Bioflow in 2011.