Westwood secures vice-captain honour

Lee Westwood will be vice-captain in France in September.
Lee Westwood will be vice-captain in France in September.

Worksop’s Lee Westwood has been named as one of Thomas Bjorn’s five vice-captains for this year’s Ryder Cup.

Westwood, who has played in the last ten Ryder Cup contests, was named alongside Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald, for the contest which takes place from September 28-30 at Le Golf National near Paris. Robert Karlsson had previously been confirmed.

The Worksop star could still qualify for the event as a player and is the only one of the quartet to be ranked inside the top 200 in the world.

“Obviously I’ve been on ten Ryder Cup sides, but never been involved with the role behind the scenes,” said Westwood, who failed to win a point in the defeat at Hazeltine in 2016 after being given a wild card by Darren Clarke.

“So when Thomas asked me to take that role I was delighted and jumped at the chance. Myself and Thomas have known each other many years and anything I can do to have a bit of input and help, I will gladly do, and it will be nice to see him take on his role as captain and support him as much as I can.

“I’m of an age now where my chances of making the team go down quite significantly, and it’s something that I’ve always been interested in, having played so many, but never been on the other side of it.

“Playing in a Ryder Cup is very special. But to be involved with it is very special as well and something I want to do.

“Thomas has pulled together a good team with a lot of knowledge and experience and hopefully at the right times we can give the right words to somebody less experienced than us that might be playing their first one.”

Bjorn said: “All five are widely respected throughout the game, are all current players who are well known to the players who will be in our team come September and they also all possess a knowledge and understanding of what to expect from the golf course at Le Golf National too.

“You only need to look at the record books to see that their Ryder Cup pedigree speaks for itself. Each of them has played both home and away so they are well versed in the contest and know how to handle the special and unique atmosphere.

“They all possess strong personalities but each of them will also bring something different to the team, giving us great balance. “