Westwood ties Palmer on Ryder Cup all-time list
Lee Westwood was overcome with emotion after joining the Ryder Cup greats on Saturday and at the same time helping Europe claim a commanding 10-6 lead over the United States.
The 41-year-old moved alongside Arnold Palmer on the all-time scoring list at 23 points, behind only Nick Faldo (25), Bernhard Langer (24), and Billy Casper and Colin Montgomerie (each at 23 1/2).
Westwood, who is appearing in the biennial team event for the ninth straight time, was particularly proud of surpass the late Seve Ballesteros’s 22 1/2 points.
“To move above Seve is something I guess you just don’t ever imagine doing,” the Englishman said after he and Welsh rookie Jamie Donaldson beat Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar 2 and 1 in the afternoon foursomes. “He’s such a legend. I’ve always said the Ryder Cup is not about individual point totals, it’s about winning the cup for Europe, but to be among names like that is obviously very satisfying.”
Ballesteros was the captain when Westwood made his Ryder Cup debut at Valderrama, Spain, in 1997.
“I think he captained like he played, very flamboyant, very unpredictable,” said the former world No. 1, who has had a lean season and only earned a place on Europe’s team this year as a wild card selection. “You just remember him wanting to do everything himself. Basically, he would grab the club out of your hand and want to play the shot, that was his passion for the game and passion for the Ryder Cup, “ he said “I was very lucky at Valderrama. I sat in the team room looking around and Seve was the captain, Nick Faldo was my partner, Bernhard Langer was in there, Ian Woosnam, Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal.
“They were people I’d grown up idolising and suddenly I was 23 or 24 and sat in a room with my heroes. Seve was the greatest because, with no disrespect to the others, he’s probably the most charismatic player there’s ever been.”
McGinley, who has been vindicated in picking Westwood, paid tribute to the Englishman after he and Donaldson won their second consecutive foursomes match of the week.
“We have been very lucky to have some wonderful partnerships,” said the Irishman. “We have a partnership in Jamie and Lee that has been very strong and one in Victor (Dubuisson) and Graeme (McDowell). I’m very fortunate as a captain to have two guys in Lee and Graeme to play that senior role.” Reuters
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