Lee Westwood has pulled the plug on any talk surrounding his name and the 2023 Ryder Cup captaincy, ruling himself out of skipper duties for a Rome revenge mission against the USA.
The World Number 38, who’s still only 48, is determined to focus on his playing career while his game allows, and why wouldn’t he with golf’s elite currently caught in the middle of a bidding war that could only result in further cash injections for players of Westwood’s ilk.
The record-equalling 11-time Ryder Cupper is a shoe-in for Captaincy duties at some point down the track but Westwood, who was emotional following Europe’s humbling at the hands of the USA at Wisconsin given it might’ve been his last appearance, insists Italy will come too soon for the evergreen Englishman.
“Of course it is not a decision I’ve taken lightly as it would be a huge honour to captain Europe and it is something I’d love to do one day,” Westwood said in the Daily Telegraph.
“But it’s almost a full-time job nowadays and that is something I can’t commit to while I’m in the top-50 in the world and still competitive. The Ryder Cup is very close to my heart and I would only take on the role if I believe I could give it 100 percent.
“Whoever gets the job for Rome will obviously have my full backing and I’ll continue to do all I can for the Europe cause, as I’ve always tried to since my debut 24 years ago.”
Westwood stepping to one side paves the way for the likes of former world number 1 Luke Donald and Swede Robert Karlsson, both of whom have paid their dues as Vice-Captains down the years. Earlier this month, betting was suspended on Donald after the Englishman was backed into 11/8 from 18-1 to be named Captain for the Rome encounter.
The next man in charge of Europe’s Ryder Cup team is expected to be officially announced early in 2022.