Hazeltine-bound: Lee Westwood
As our series of profiles is rounded off with Darren Clarke’s three wildcard selections for The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, we take a closer look at double European Number One and nine-time Ryder Cup veteran, Lee Westwood.
Born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire in 1973, he picked up in the game aged 13 after receiving a half-set of clubs from his grandparents before turning professional in 1993 after winning the British Youths Amateur Championship. Claimed his first professional title in 1996 at the Volvo Scandinavian Masters, since when he has won a further 41 events around the world including 22 more on the European Tour. In 2000, won seven times worldwide in a year en route to being crowned European Number One for teh first time. Topped the inaugural Race to Dubai in 2009 after returning victorious in the season-ending Dubai World Championship. Toppled Tiger Woods as the World Number One golfer in October 2010 and has 18 Major top ten finishes to his name – including three runner-up spots. Made his Ryder Cup debut under Seve Ballesteros in 1997, since when he has never been out of the team having contributed 23 points from his 41 matches and been on the winning side on seven occasions. He needs two points at Hazeltine to equal – and three to better – Sir Nick Faldo’s Ryder Cup record haul of 25 points.
European Tour appearances: 478
European Tour wins: 23
Top ten finishes: 152
Career earnings: €32,772,556
Ryder Cup record
Appearances: 9 (1997, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014)
Overall record (W-L-H): 20-15-6
Total points: 23
Point percentage: 56 per cent
Ryder Cup highlights
- Holed the putt that retained The Ryder Cup for Europe during the 18.5-9.5 rout at Oakland Hills in 2004, where he was joint top points scorer in the contest with Sergio Garcia after claiming 4.5 points from five matches
- Alongside compatriot Luke Donald, beat Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods 6 and 5 in the second session of foursomes at Celtic Manor in 2010 to post the joint second largest margin of victory for Europe in Ryder Cup history
- Formed a lethal partnership with friend and 2016 Captain Darren Clarke on a number of occasions, winning six points from eight matches when paired with the Northern Irishman
2016 qualification highlights
A captain’s pick for the third time in 2016, after Ian Woosnam gave him a wildcard in 2006 – when he went undefeated, and after Paul McGinley called him up for Gleneagles two years ago – when he contributed two points, his highlights in the last 12 months came with a tied second at the Thailand Golf Championship last winter and a runner-up spot at the Masters Tournament, where he finished second to fellow countryman and stablemate Danny Willett at Augusta. Also claimed top ten finishes at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation and Nordea Masters and a tied 11th place at the 100th Open de France, which carried extra Ryder Cup qualification points this year.
Westwood's form during the points race: