Saturday 3 December 2016

USA are out of options if the Ryder Cup is a failure this week - Lee Westwood

Phil Casey

Published 29/09/2016 | 22:32

Europe's Lee Westwood speaks to the media during a practice session ahead of the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine
Europe's Lee Westwood speaks to the media during a practice session ahead of the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine

Lee Westwood has questioned whether the United States will have run out of options to improve their recent Ryder Cup record if they lose again at Hazeltine.

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Europe are seeking an unprecedented fourth straight victory in the biennial contest and have won six of the last seven, a streak which prompted the formation of an 11-man "task force" to examine all aspects of the US Ryder Cup process.

"It's very flattering to Team Europe that the USA have put this task force together and are trying to replicate what we've done," Westwood said. "It means we are successful and we are doing it right.

"We take a lot of pride in that, that the USA are taking it so seriously to bring this task force together and bring Davis (Love) in as captain again.

"It gives us a lot of confidence and puts added pressure on them. You form a task force and it doesn't go right this week, where do you go from there? You've done pretty much all you can do. So we'll see how that goes.

"A lot of the players on the European side have had multiple experiences of winning Ryder Cups. And on the other side of that, a lot of their players have had multiple experiences of losing Ryder Cups.

"Winning is a habit and a lot of the players on the European Team have that habit and know what the experience is like and what to do."

Westwood is making his 10th consecutive appearance in the Ryder Cup and needs two and a half points to overtake Nick Faldo as Europe's top points scorer in the event's history.

However, the 43-year-old - who played four matches alongside Faldo on his debut at Valderrama in 1997 - insists the team result comes before any personal milestones.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say I wanted to get past Nick's record, because anybody involved in sport wants to break records," the former world number one said. "That's what drives us all on, to be able to say you're the best at anything.

"But if you give me a choice of not winning any points and the Europeans winning the Ryder Cup, then that would definitely come first before getting in front of Nick's record or getting near it. It's all about the team this week."

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