Ryder Cup postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19
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Lee Westwood described the current European Ryder Cup qualification status as ‘volatile’ at this week’s BMW PGA Championship, as he questioned the idea of the process closing less than two weeks before the event gets underway at Whistling Straits.
Westwood is one of several players whose Ryder Cup chances hang in the balance at the flagship European Tour event at Wentworth, as Padraig Harrington’s 12-man team will be completed following Sunday’s final round.
However, following his second round two-under-par 70, the Englishman expressed his discontent at the timing of the qualification process, with it closing so close to the team tournament, and ending on one of the biggest events on the European Tour calendar.
Speaking about the qualification and his chances of potentially losing his place following the BMW PGA Championship, the Englishman said: “I could still slide out now depending on what other people do so that’s the volatility of the week and the way the qualification has fallen.
“Whether you think that is right or wrong, and you think people should be playing under that kind of pressure to see what they’re made of two weeks before a Ryder Cup, that’s a personal call.”
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Westwood – who has represented Europe 10 times at the biennial event – went on to dispute the idea of putting Ryder Cup qualifiers through such intense pressure so close to the tournament, adding that he feels the process needs changing ahead of the 2023 tournament in Rome.
He added: “Whether you think they shouldn’t be playing under that kind of pressure this close to the Ryder Cup, they should be kind of cruising into it, being ready to play in the Ryder Cup engergised and not drained from an event like this is another way of thinking.
“I think the qualification maybe needs a bit of a look at for the next time we do the Ryder Cup in Rome.”
The Englishman’s Friday morning round was no doubt a mixed one, after he followed up being two-over through nine holes, by shooting four-under on the back nine to comfortably make the cut ahead of the weekend.
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As a result the eighth most successful European Tour player was more than pleased with his reaction, following a difficult start.
Westwood commented: “I really didn’t hit it that well to be honest. I started off slowly, hit a few bad shots, made a few bad mental errors but then gradually got my game together.
“I think making the four at 11 was probably pivotal… I hit quite a few good shots coming in and obviously chipped one in on 17 again.”
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