If he leads Europe in Rome in 2023, Lee Westwood discusses a critical Ryder Cup alteration he will make.
Should Lee Westwood be appointed captain, he has highlighted the changes he will undertake to help the European Ryder Cup squad return to winning form in Rome in two years.
If Lee Westwood is named captain of Europe’s Ryder Cup team in Rome in 2023, he will demand more control over the team’s composition. After Padraig Harrington’s squad suffered a record defeat, Westwood is a strong contender to be asked to pick up the pieces.
While Westwood commended Harrington’s leadership under tough circumstances following what he admits was a “blowout,” he believed he sold himself short by asking for three wildcards.
Steve Stricker, the captain of the United States, had twice as many players at his disposal and was able to put together exactly the team he desired. After leaving out Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, and Alex Noren, Europe walked into a cyclone with an umbrella.
Regardless of who Harrington chooses, the Americans would have been a formidable opponent in their own backyard, but Westwood wants more freedom to mold the team.
“My first thinking would be four, four, four – four from the Euro list, four from the world list, and four choices,” Westwood remarked.
“The wonderful thing about playing under 11 different captains is that they all have different ideas.”
Westwood’s point of view has merit. The number of players chosen from Europe could be cut even further now that the European Tour is virtually a feeder operation to the powerful PGA Tour. Bernd Wiesberger, the final qualifier from the domestic list, did not score a single point in his debut, but Westwood believes that a balance is necessary.
“You have to have some form of qualification because you want your players to play under pressure,” Westwood remarked.
“If you can play under pressure and earn a spot on the team, you can come out here and represent the squad when it gets hot.”
Westwood, who overcame Harris English in his Sunday singles match after coming back from two down with four minutes to play, regretfully admits that his own 24-year Ryder Cup career is almost definitely ended. After serving as an assistant captain in 2018, the top post beckons, along with the difficult task of defeating an American unit that may be even stronger in two years.
“Brinkwire Summary News” says, “I assume I’ll get three or four months to contemplate.”