Lee Westwood has ruled himself out of contention for the role of Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain, preferring to focus on his playing career.
During Europe’s record-breaking 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits in September, Westwood made his record-equaling 11th Ryder Cup participation, when he was one of only three players to win their singles match for Padraig Harrington’s team.
After the biennial event, the 48-year-old revealed that he may have participated in his final Ryder Cup and was the overwhelming favourite to succeed Harrington in Italy in 2023, but Westwood has since decided to focus on keeping competitive at the highest level.
“Of course, it’s not a choice I’ve taken lightly,” Westwood told the Daily Telegraph. “It would be a big honour to captain Europe, and it’s something I’d love to do one day.”
“However, it’s now virtually a full-time job, which I can’t commit to while I’m still in the top 50 (in the world) and competing.” The Ryder Cup is very important to me, and I would only accept the role if I am confident that I could give it my all.
“Obviously, whoever gets the position in Rome will have my entire support, and I’ll continue to do everything I can for the European cause, as I have since my debut 24 years ago.”
Westwood is now ranked No. 38 in the world, with only six other Europeans ahead of him. The Englishman has played on seven winning Ryder Cup teams and served as vice-captain in the 2018 victory at Le Golf National.
Luke Donald, Henrik Stenson, Robert Karlsson, and Graeme McDowell, all former vice-captains for Team Europe, will be among the players considered now that Westwood has withdrawn. In early 2022, Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain is scheduled to be announced.
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