Lee Westwood Rules Himself Out Of 2023 Ryder Cup Captaincy

Westwood ruled himself out of captaining the European side at the 2023 Ryder Cup, instead focusing on extending his playing career.

Lee Westwood Ryder Cup Captaincy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 48-year-old made a record breaking 11th appearance at the Ryder Cup back in September, being on the receiving end of a record breaking 19 - 9 defeat.

Westwood though was only one of three European players to pick up a singles point on the Sunday, defeating Harris English 1-up at Whistling Straits.

Following the match, the Englishman gave an emotional interview admitting that he may have played in his last Ryder Cup. This obviously made him the overwhelming favourite to succeed Padraig Harrington in Italy in 2023.

However, Westwood continues to display some fantastic form and is currently ranked 38th in the world rankings, with only six other Europeans above him. Since that interview, it seems that Westwood has decided to keep his attention on staying competitive at the highest level.

Lee Westwood Ryder Cup Captaincy

Westwood had a number of near misses in 2021, including The Players Championship and the Arnold Palmer Invitational 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Of course it is not a decision I’ve taken lightly as it would be a huge honour to captain Europe and it is something I’d love to do one day,” the Veteran said. “But it’s almost a full-time job nowadays and that is something I can’t commit to while I’m in the top 50 and still competitive.

“The Ryder Cup is very close to my heart and I would only take on the role if I believe I could give it 100 percent. Whoever gets the job for Rome will obviously have my full backing and I’ll continue to do all I can for the Europe cause, as I’ve always tried to since my debut 24 years ago.”

With Westwood focusing on his playing career, it is now Luke Donald and Henrik Stenson who are the favourites to assume the captaincy, with it being understood that both men have expressed their interest. 

Experience wise, it is Donald who slightly edges it, with the Englishman being a vice-captain in the last two Ryder Cups. However, Stenson did make his vice-captaincy debut at Whistling Straits, plus four of the last five captains have been from Great Britain and Ireland.

Other options available for Team Europe are Graeme McDowell and Robert Karlsson, with both men making multiple appearances as vice-captain previously. What we do know, is that the captaincy is expected to be announced in early 2022.

Lee Westwood Ryder Cup Captaincy

The captain and vice-captains of the 2020 European team.

(Image credit: Getty Images)
Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x