Lee Westwood is the reigning Race to Dubai champion
Lee Westwood says he has likely contested his last match in the Ryder Cup after setting a new record for matches played in Europe’s defeat to USA at Whistling Straits.
Playing in his 47th match in the biennial matchplay event, Westwood won three of the last four holes to beat Harris English 1up in Sunday’s singles but it didn’t prevent USA regaining the trophy with a record-winning margin.
Westwood, who made the first of his record-equalling 11 appearances in 1997, was the oldest member of Padraig Harrington’s team after an impressive 2020-21 season in which he registered two second-place finishes on the PGA Tour.
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“Listen, this [singles] match I played, it might be the last match I’ve played in the Ryder Cup,” Westwood said on Sunday.
“I’d rather it wasn’t, but I’m 49 next April, and the likelihood is it is.
“I got to share it with my son. Won my point.”
The 44th Ryder Cup will be held in Italy from September 29-October 1 2023 at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome.
Westwood, who acted as a vice-captain under Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National in 2018, was beaten in his two other matches in the foursomes alongside fellow Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick.
He added: “I hate this tournament. It makes you so emotional, but that’s what makes it great as well. Everybody knows when they tee up in the links-style golf course, Ryder Cup, it’s a lottery.
“You have a chance of winning but it’s not guaranteed. Like roulette. But they are special moments out there. You know, we get to represent Europe out there this week. It’s a big place.
“If you haven’t got pride and passion, then it’s not for you. Don’t even bother turning up.”
Paul McGinley explains the lessons Europe can learn from their Ryder Cup defeat to try and win back the trophy in the future Paul McGinley explains the lessons Europe can learn from their Ryder Cup defeat to try and win back the trophy in the future
Fellow Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter was in tears after his 3&2 singles win against Tony Finau on Sunday saw him preserve his unbeaten record in the format in his seventh appearance in the event.
Poulter, named as a captain’s pick by Harrington, struggled to produce his best golf over the first two days as he and Rory McIlroy fell to defeats in both the foursomes and fourballs format together.
An emotional Ian Poulter admitted the European team were ‘outplayed’ by Team USA and explained why it would be wrong to criticise Padraig Harrington for the heavy defeat An emotional Ian Poulter admitted the European team were ‘outplayed’ by Team USA and explained why it would be wrong to criticise Padraig Harrington for the heavy defeat
“Today was to give something back. You just don’t know if you get the opportunity to go again,” the 45-year-old told Sky Sports in his post-match interview.
Speaking to reporters as a disappointed European team held a press conference, he added: “We have a good group. These things don’t come around very often. It’s special to put the shirt on. It’s special.
“It’s special to get around all these guys in a way that you would not imagine. It means a lot in Europe to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, and that’s why it hurts and that’s why you see all the emotion that you see.”
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