Guardian at Gleneagles: Ryder Cup opening looms for Westwood

Lee Westwood OBE receives the freedom of the District of Bassetlaw  (w120320-7l)
Lee Westwood OBE receives the freedom of the District of Bassetlaw (w120320-7l)

The 2014 Ryder Cup, the ninth of Lee Westwood’s career, will officially begin this afternoon at Gleneagles.

Although play won’t begin until tomorrow morning’s fourballs, the opening ceremony takes place at 4pm today.

The American and European captains, Tom Waton and Paul McGinley, will then host press conferences to reveal their opening pairings.

Friday morning’s session, starting at 7.35am, will be four fourball matches, where players hit their own ball and take the best score.

The afternoon’s play will be made up of foursomes, in which players use one ball and hit alternate shots.

Former European captain Bernard Gallacher suggested today that he would like to see his nephew Stephen partnered by Worksop’s Westwood, who he sees as a steady hand to guide the Scot through his first taste of the pressure cooker environment of the Ryder Cup.

Westwood has been a talisman for the European team in past Ryder Cups, finding himself on the winning side six times.