Westwood wants two or three more years as a player before Ryder Cup captaincy bid

England's Lee Westwood on the 5th tee during the second round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course on July 17, 2015 in St Andrews, Fife.

17 July 2015. Picture by Jane Barlow.

� Jane Barlow 2015 {all rights reserved}
janebarlowphotography@gmail.com
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England's Lee Westwood on the 5th tee during the second round of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course on July 17, 2015 in St Andrews, Fife. 17 July 2015. Picture by Jane Barlow. � Jane Barlow 2015 {all rights reserved} janebarlowphotography@gmail.com m: 07870 152324

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Lee Westwood is only planning to compete as a player for two or three more years, before throwing his hat in the ring for the Ryder Cup captaincy.

The Worksop golfer has a long and storied history with the team event that sees Europe take on the United States of America.

And while he wants to experience a Ryder Cup as a captain in four years’ time, Westwood hasn’t given up hope of playing in the 2016 event.

Admitting his playing career was coming to an end, the 42-year-old said: “I’d like to go on a little longer.

“Two or three years, then think about the Ryder Cup captaincy.

“If I put my name in for the captaincy in four years’ time then I can think about joining the Seniors Tour after that.”

Westwood wants to earn a spot in this year’s European team, which will be captained by his good friend Darren Clarke.

Should he not make it through results, he has reassured the Northern Irishman there will be no hard feelings, should a captain’s pick not materialise.

“Hazeltine is in my mind for different reasons and naturally I want to play,” he said.

“But I read somewhere that Darren is worried about friendships and making picks. I can put his mind at rest. Your past record only counts if you are playing well. I’d say to Darren, even before he contemplated it, not to select me if I wasn’t playing well.”

There is, however, still a Ryder Cup role for Westwood this year he believes, as a player or as one of Clarke’s right hand men.

“My goal is to qualify - you only need one or two good weeks and you’re right in there,” he said.

“If not, I’m happy to go along and get some captaincy experience as vice-captain. When you’ve played in nine Ryder Cups you’ve got the respect of the players and you feel you can help.

“I’ve played under nine different captains so have experienced all there is to experience in that regard.”