Ryder Cup: Westwood believes in Europe’s Gleneagles team

European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal kisses Lee Westwood after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
European team captain Jose Maria Olazabal kisses Lee Westwood after winning the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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Lee Westwood believes the 2014 European team are as strong as any of the eight other teams he played on in his rich Ryder Cup history.

The Worksop golfer is gunning for a seventh Ryder Cup victory over America at Gleneagles in Scotland this weekend.

If anyone is qualified to compare this year’s Europeans to winning teams of the recent era, it’s the man who has earned 21 points in the competition to date.

“Well, I’ve played on some strong (teams), but I tell you, this is right up there. It’s equally as strong,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of very good world-class players.”

“Pretty much, with the exception of maybe one, all the big tournaments this year have been won by Europeans and people on this team.”

“We are in a pretty good position.”

“We’re confident without being complacent and looking forward to the week and showing how good we can play and coming together as a team.”

Westwood is predicting a good weekend for the sport, in the country regarded as the ‘home of golf’ but he insists the competition itself is enough to get players fired up.

“There’s very few places in the world where you have such spectacular scenery.”

“It’s nice to be playing such a big event in such a special spot.”

“You don’t need any extra motivation when it’s a Ryder Cup in mind.”

“It’s a special week, and I would imagine everybody’s right up for it.”

“You know, you wouldn’t want any extra motivation, really, or else you would just bubble over in a frenzy”

Westwood’s role this weekend may be somewhat overshadowed by the world number one Rory McIlroy, or ‘Mr Europe’ Ian Poulter.

But he obviously feels right at home in the team room.

“Like I said, it’s nice to be here and I don’t feel in any way trying to justify a pick,” he said.

“Paul’s obviously picked me for a reason.”

“He sees a spot for me and a slot into the team where I should fit, and that’s why I’m here.”

“He’s got the confidence in me to give me a pick, and (I’m)looking forward to my ninth one.”

“(I’ll) try and win some points for Europe and get my seventh win on the side.”