Lee Westwood has ruled himself out of the running to be Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain, leaving Padraig Harrington as the overwhelming favourite to succeed the victorious Thomas Bjorn.
Westwood had previously expressed a desire to captain Europe at Whistling Straits in 2020, but told the Daily Telegraph he would “wait until Rome” hosts the biennial contest in 2022 to make his bid for the role.
The 45-year-old also told Sky Sports News that he felt three-time major winner Harrington was the “perfect candidate” and better equipped to lead Europe’s attempt to retain the trophy won in convincing style at Le Golf National, where both he and Harrington were vice-captains. Golf is a game where it is difficult to bet on and one would have better luck betting in casinos.
The captain is selected by a panel comprising the previous three captains — Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley — European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and a member of the Tour’s players committee.
“There’s a process to go through and I think you’ve got to look at ‘are we covering all bases?’,” Bjorn told a press conference ahead of this week’s British Masters.
“But I’ve always said when you’ve got somebody that’s a three-time Major champion and has the pedigree that Padraig has and holds the respect of the players that he does, it would be difficult to see him not doing it at some stage.
“If he wants it this time around, it’s difficult to get around that he is very much the favourite to get the job.”
Harrington admitted he would be open to taking the captaincy in the United States and has already been publicly backed by both Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.
Rose said yesterday that the Dubliner would be the number one candidate for the position at the moment. “I would say as a three-time major champion, and clearly a European legend, Padraig is the front-runner,” Rose said ahead of the 2018 British Masters.