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Lee Westwood Rules Himself Out Of 2023 Ryder Cup Captaincy

Golf Monthly logo Golf Monthly 11/26/2021 Matt Cradock
Lee Westwood Ryder Cup Captaincy © Provided by Golf Monthly Lee Westwood Ryder Cup Captaincy

The 48-year-old made a record breaking 11th appearance at the Ryder Cup back in September, being on the receiving end of a record breaking 19 - 9 defeat.

Westwood though was only one of three European players to pick up a singles point on the Sunday, defeating Harris English 1-up at Whistling Straits.

Following the match, the Englishman gave an emotional interview admitting that he may have played in his last Ryder Cup. This obviously made him the overwhelming favourite to succeed Padraig Harrington in Italy in 2023.

However, Westwood continues to display some fantastic form and is currently ranked 38th in the world rankings, with only six other Europeans above him. Since that interview, it seems that Westwood has decided to keep his attention on staying competitive at the highest level.

“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,” the Veteran said. “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 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.”

With Westwood focusing on his playing career, it is now Luke Donald and Henrik Stenson who are the favourites to assume the captaincy, with it being understood that both men have expressed their interest. 

Experience wise, it is Donald who slightly edges it, with the Englishman being a vice-captain in the last two Ryder Cups. However, Stenson did make his vice-captaincy debut at Whistling Straits, plus four of the last five captains have been from Great Britain and Ireland.

Other options available for Team Europe are Graeme McDowell and Robert Karlsson, with both men making multiple appearances as vice-captain previously. What we do know, is that the captaincy is expected to be announced in early 2022.

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