Wednesday 13 December 2017

Westwood has 'heart to heart' with Clarke over Ryder woe

Lee Westwood Picture: PA
Lee Westwood Picture: PA

James Corrigan

Lee Westwood has admitted having "a heart-to-heart" with Darren Clarke in the wake of the Ryder Cup, fearing he had let his great friend down as a wild card at Hazeltine.

Westwood, 43, was one of Clarke's three picks and lost all three of his matches, conceding the last two despite being ahead going down the stretch on each occasion. It was the worst return in his 19-year Ryder Cup career.

"I was a captain's pick and I would have liked to have performed well for Darren and we sat down and chatted about it," Westwood said. "A lot of people have said to me, it's a good result for the Ryder Cup as it keeps the interest going. And we had won it three times in a row and sooner or later we were going to lose."

Clarke dismissed Westwood's attempts to place the onus on himself and was more interested to discover his own failings. He joined Nick Faldo as the only losing Europe captains this century.

"Darren asked me, 'What could I have done differently?' and I replied that I thought he did all that he could and it was just one of them things," Westwood said. "The American team did to us what we have been doing to them the last 20 years. They had a strong team and they got the set-up spot on."

Westwood, playing in the British Masters this week, is keen to be in the frame for the 2020 captaincy, removing himself from contention for the next match in Paris. With Ian Poulter also ruling himself out for 2018, that means it's likely to be a duel between Thomas Bjorn and Pádraig Harrington, with the former the favourite. The decision is expected before Christmas. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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