By Tony Jimenez
LONDON (Reuters) – Lee Westwood endured the least productive Ryder Cup of his 10-match career two weeks ago but it has not diluted the veteran campaigner’s dreams of captaining Europe in the biennial event in 2020.
The former world number one was hoping to surpass Nick Faldo’s record Ryder Cup points tally in Minnesota earlier this month. However, not only did his team slip to a 17-11 defeat, the Englishman failed to register a point in his three outings.
“I certainly wouldn’t want to be the captain next time around, that’s too soon for me,” Westwood told a news conference on the eve of the British Masters at The Grove in Watford.
“But I think 2020 is definitely on my radar. There are a lot of candidates for it but I’ll be putting my name in the ring for sure, it’s something I’d like to do.”
Westwood’s preference for the next edition in Paris in two years’ time would be to qualify for his 11th consecutive Ryder Cup as a player.
Failing that, he would like to move into the backroom team and gain experience as a deputy skipper.
“I’ve played in 10 and witnessed 10 different forms of captaincy,” said the 43-year-old. “I’d like to maybe play again but if I can’t play again, I’d like to do the assistant captain’s role.
“I paid a lot of attention to what Darren (Clarke) and his assistant captains were doing this year.”
Despite the emphatic margin of defeat, Westwood felt there was little to choose between Europe and the U.S. at Hazeltine National.
“I thought both teams played well,” he said. “The Americans did to us what we’ve been doing to them for the last 20 years.
“They probably holed more putts than us, not a lot in it tee-to-green.”
Westwood suffered a fallout from the Ryder Cup when he opened with a 75 and an 82 at last week’s Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland before going on to miss the three-round cut. He was, though, delighted to be back on home soil.
“I love playing tournaments in Britain,” said Westwood. “The crowds are fantastic, they turn out in the thousands.
“They create a great atmosphere and we play some lovely golf courses as well. This week is no different… it’s nice to see the British Masters going from strength-to-strength.”
(Editing by Ken Ferris)