Westwood throws his cap in for 2023 Ryder Cup Captaincy

Bernie McGuire
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Westwood throws his cap in for 2023 Ryder Cup Captaincy

Lee Westwood. By Getty Images

Lee Westwood has thrown his cap into the Rome 2023 Ryder Cup captaincy ring

Westwood is a veteran of 10 Ryder Cups as a player having made his debut at Valderrama in 1997 and then competed in every Ryder Cup up to 2016 at Hazeltine.

He then served as a vice-captain in 2018 under Thomas Bjorn’s victorious Versailles side and is almost certain to be named by Padraig Harrington in a similar role for the now Covid-19 rescheduled 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

Westwood is almost certain to lead Europe in Rome with any likely captaincy challenge coming from Luke Donald who has played in four Ryder Cups and was also a vice-captain in 2018. In May this year he was named by Harrington to be a Whistling Straits vice-captain.

Westwood said: “I will definitely be throwing my cap into the ring come Italy in what will now be three years’ time. Hopefully I will be considered for the role.

“I’ve played in 10 Ryder Cup’s under 10 different captains and I was vice-captain to Thomas (Bjorn) in 2018, so I’ve seen how the captaincy has been done, and I’ve seen a lot of good captaincies and things that I like.

“A lot of those captains are friends so yeah, it would be a massive honour to be a Ryder Cup captain and there’s no doubt about that, and it’s a job I would love to do.”

Westwood was speaking as tournament host at this week’s Betfred British Masters where there is a ‘no spectator’ policy, something that Westwood could never see happening at a Ryder Cup.

He said: “I could not see a Ryder Cup taking place without fans.

“If there is one golf tournament that feeds off the crowds and the galleries then it is the Ryder Cup.

“Everyone I know who says they’ve been to a Ryder Cup, the first thing they say is what an incredible atmosphere.

“At some point in a Ryder Cup somebody is going to hole the winning putt and to turn around and not have a grandstand full of fans cheering it just doesn’t feel right and I could not picture the Ryder Cup going ahead later this year without fans.”

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