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Published: 09:28 | 13/10/16

Westwood: I let down Clarke


Lee Westwood feels he let Darren Clarke down by failing to pick up a single point for Europe at the recent Ryder Cup.

Having failed to qualify automatically for the clash with the United States, Westwood was named as one of Clarke's wildcards along with Martin Kaymer and Thomas Pieters.

Westwood and Kaymer were picked based on their previous experience in the Ryder Cup and in an attempt to balance a team that contained six rookies. However, Westwood lost all three of his matches with Kaymer picking up just a single point in four games compared to Pieters four.

It was a disappointing week for the Englishman and he believes he let down Clarke.

"I was a captain's pick and I would have liked to have performed well for him, but we sat down (afterwards) and chatted about it," Westwood explained.

"He said 'What could I have done differently?' and I said I thought you did all you could. The American team did to us what we have been doing to them the last 20 years.

"A lot of people said to me it's a good result for the Ryder Cup and it keeps the interest in it. We had won it three times in a row. Sooner or later they are going to win one and it just happened to be under Darren's watch.

"It's unfortunate and there's not a lot you can do about it, really. They had a strong team and I thought they got the set-up spot on for their team, when you look at it."

The 17-11 defeat was Europe's heaviest loss in 35 years but Westwood believes they could have done very little to change the outcome.

"Sometimes it's sport and you don't get what you want, no matter how good of preparation you put in. But the preparation was all right and that's all you can do," he added.

The selection committee are due to meet before Christmas to decide on the captain for the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris and, while he has ruled himself out of the running, Westwood admits he would love the opportunity to lead Europe in 2020.

"I certainly wouldn't want to be the captain next time around. That's too soon for me, but I think 2020 is definitely on my radar. There are a lot of candidates for it but I'll be putting my name in the ring for sure," he explained.

"I've played on 10 and witnessed 10 different forms of captaincy, so I'm pretty well qualified to be a captain I would have thought. I'd like to maybe play again, but if I can't play again I'd like to do the assistant captain's role, (see) what goes on behind the scenes, although I paid a lot of attention to what Darren and the assistant captains were doing this year.

"I don't think necessarily you have to be an assistant captain (before being captain), but it probably helps. Another angle to see it from, more experience."

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