Westwood's Ryder Cup story to continue even if he cannot play his way into team

European captain Thomas Bjorn has named Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Luke Donald as vice-captains for this year's Ryder Cup against the United States.
Lee Westwood: Named European Ryder Cup vice-captain. (Picture: PA)Lee Westwood: Named European Ryder Cup vice-captain. (Picture: PA)
Lee Westwood: Named European Ryder Cup vice-captain. (Picture: PA)

Westwood has played in the last 10 contests since making his debut in 1997 and was on the winning side seven times, while Harrington was vice-captain to Paul McGinley in 2014 and Darren Clarke in 2016.

McDowell, who claimed the winning point at Celtic Manor in 2010, and Donald will make their debuts in the backroom staff at Le Golf National in Paris as Europe seek to regain the trophy following defeat at Hazeltine two years ago. Bjorn, who had already selected Sweden’s Robert Karlsson as a vice-captain, said: “All five are widely respected throughout the game, are all current players who are well known to the players who will be in our team and they also all possess a knowledge and understanding of what to expect from Le Golf National. You only need to look at their records to see that their Ryder Cup pedigree speaks for itself.

The quartet could still qualify for the biennial contest which takes place from September 28-30, but Westwood (117th) is the only player currently ranked inside the world’s top 200.