Lee Westwood (pictured) has won more points in the Ryder Cup than any other player who has qualified for this year’s matches. He has clearly stated his objective to be the leading point’s scorer in the history of the event and he could achieve that goal if he were to qualify for a further two matches.
Westwood’s current tally is 19 points so he clearly has Nick Faldo’s record of 25 points in his sights. The English player will be appearing in his 8th Ryder Cup this week and he has a great record of representing Europe in victories on five of those occasions.
In total Westwood has played 33 matches, consisting of fourballs, foursomes and singles. Of those he has won 16 and he has been involved in six tied contests. He has lost just 11 of his matches which means that he avoids defeat on two thirds of the times when he tees it up for Europe.
Westwood’s experience of the Ryder Cup will be key to Europe’s chances. He seems to adopt the right frame of mind and doesn’t focus on the occasion too much to affect his performance. Interviewed at the Tour Championship last week Westwood commented that he hadn’t begun to turn his attentions to the event and in that respect he eliminates some of the pressure and intensity before he arrives at the venue.
Westwood has repeatedly proven that he can handle the pressure of the matches. From tee to green he is arguably the best player in the world and given even average ability on the greens he would surely have won that elusive first major championship. His short game has improved since employing a new coach to focus on that aspect of his skills profile.
The Ryder Cup veteran is fully aware of the role of the home crowd. He acknowledges that he will be taking on a whole nation and not just the 12 best American golfers. Westwood knows what to expect from the partisan crowd but he has the ability and experience to play at his best in the face of such support for his opponents.
Westwood is currently at number four in the world rankings. His career took a significant dip after winning twelve tournaments at the end of the 1990’s. Even when he dropped out of the top 200 in the world he was able to maintain his form in the Ryder Cup. He will almost certainly play in the maximum of five matches which gives him a great opportunity to be the top point’s scorer for the European team