Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

Lee Westwood would 'love' to be Europe's Ryder Cup captain in 2022

Englishman is in the capital for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA

Lee Westwood speaks to the media ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA Getty Images
Lee Westwood speaks to the media ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA Getty Images

Lee Westwood had scarcely finished bemoaning short-termism in football coaching when he started talking in glowing terms about the prospect of taking up a management position that is generally a one-off, two-year role, with actual match action lasting three days only.

As an avid fan of the English Championship club Nottingham Forest, Westwood has been nonplussed by the departure of the club’s manager, Aitor Karanka.

Enthused though he is by the idea of former Forest player Martin O’Neill arriving as the replacement, “I don't care who the next manager is, as long as he's given time,” Westwood said.

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He would be happy, though, to consider a role for himself that consists of overseeing no more than a long weekend of golf – albeit with a fair bit of prep time in the lead up to it.

The 45-year-old Englishman says he would love to be Europe’s Ryder Cup captain at the 2022 event in Rome.

It was confirmed this month that Padraig Harrington will take the helm for the defending champions when the match takes place at Whistling Straits next year.

Westwood wants to be the next man in.

“I'd love to have it in Italy, I'll not lie to you,” Westwood said, as he prepared to start his 2019 campaign at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA.

Padraig Harrington was recently named Europe's captain for the 2020 Ruder Cup. AP Photo
Padraig Harrington was recently named Europe's captain for the 2020 Ruder Cup. AP Photo

“That would be ideal for me to be captain in Italy. I think this time around, I proved the end of last year [by winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge], that I can still win tournaments, and I feel like I can still qualify for a Ryder Cup team.

“In Italy, I'll be 49, and that's the ideal time to be captain in my point of view. I'll still be playing out here. I'll still be in touch with the players.

“I think, you know, Tom Watson's captaincy at Gleneagles pointed that out - that he was just a bit too old and out of touch with the players that were on his team.”

Watson was 65 when his United States side lost to Europe in 2014 at Gleneagles.

“At 45, I don't play as much as I used to, so at 49 I can commit more time to it,” Westwood said.

“I watched Thomas [Bjorn] do it last year. The year that your Ryder Cup captaincy is, you kind of resign yourself to not having as much time to practice, and you're just not going to be as competitive. At that age, you can throw everything into it.”

Updated: January 15, 2019 02:28 PM

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