Ryder Cup profile: Lee Westwood

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Lee Westwood is gearing up to represent Team Europe at the Ryder Cup for a ninth consecutive time.

The English golfer will take to the tee at Gleneagles hoping to be on the winning side for a seventh time since making his debut at Club de Golf Valderrama in 1997.

Westwood has played 37 matches and won 21 points for Team Europe, winning 18, losing 13 and halving six.

This makes the 41-year-old the fifth most successful European golfer in Ryder Cup history behind Seve Ballesteros, Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Nick Faldo - reason enough for his selection.

Early appearances

Westwood, born in Worksop, partnered Faldo in all four matches of the 1997 competition, finishing with two wins and two losses.

He sunk the winning putt as they beat the pairing of Justin Leonard and Jeff Maggert 2&1. Westwood lost to Maggert 3&2 in the singles, but Europe went on to win 14.5-13.5.

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The Yorkshireman was also part of the losing team at The Country Club, Massachusetts in 1999 as USA reversed the scoreline at Brookline.

He was paired with Darren Clarke and finished with two wins and two losses, claiming his second win over Tiger Woods in as many tournaments as he and Clarke sunk Tiger and Mark O’Meara by one hole.

Noughties success

The former world number one enjoyed great success from 2002 to 2006 as Europe won three consecutive Ryder Cups, losing just two of his 15 matches.

At The Belfry in 2002 he was paired with Sergio Garcia and won three matches against the pairings of David Duvall and Davis Love III, Woods and Mark Calcavecchia and Stewart Cink alongside Jim Furyk as Europe regained the trophy 15.5-12.5.

2004 was Westwood’s best year in the competition as he played an instrumental role in Europe’s 18.5-9.5 demolition of Team USA, going unbeaten.

He finally claimed his first singles win in four attempts as he beat Kenny Perry by one hole.

Teamed up with Clarke for the foursomes, they claimed points against Woods and Phil Mickelson on day one and Jay Haas with Chris DiMarco on day two.

He also rekindled his partnership with Garcia as they swept away David Toms and Furyk 5&3.

Another demolition

In 2006 the odds were stacked against Europe as USA boasted the top three players in the world but Europe claimed their second straight 18.5-9.5 win.

Having slipped to 51 in the rankings he was selected by captain Ian Woosnam and won three of his five matches, drawing the other two. The most impressive performance came as he and Clarke saw off world numbers 1 and 3, Woods and Furyk, 3&2.

Celtic Manor and the Miracle in Medinah

2008 saw a change in fortune for Westwood and Europe as they lost 16.5-11.5 in Valhalla. Westwood failed to win a game, halving two and losing two.

Europe regained the trophy in 2010 at Celtic Manor with the pairing of Westwood and Luke Donald destroying Steve Stricker and Woods 6&5.

Europe won 14.5-13.5 and Westwood ended with two wins, a loss and a halved point.

Westwood was part of the European team in 2012 that completed the miraculous comeback in Medinah.

Having lost two of his three pairs, Westwood and Europe looked on the brink of defeat as they entered the singles 10-6 down.

Vital singles

Having pulled it back to 12-11, it was vital Westwood won his rubber if Europe had any hope of completing the comeback. He beat Matt Kuchar 3&2 to level the score at 12 each and Europe went on to win 14.5-13.5.

With Westwood currently sitting 44th in the world rankings there were questions over his place in the team as players like Luke Donald, Joost Luiten and Miguel Angel Jimenez were left out.

However, his selection by captain Paul McGinley is fully justified as Westwood, alongside Sergio Garcia, adds much needed experience to a side that contains three rookies for this year's event in Scotland.

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Lee Westwood
Ryder Cup

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