Lee Westwood admits he 'let down' friend and 2016 Ryder Cup captain, Darren Clarke

He also said he was targeting becoming Ryder Cup captain by 2020

BY Cian Roche 10:06 Thursday 13 October 2016, 10:06 13 Oct 2016

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Europe suffered their heaviest defeat in the Ryder Cup in 35 years last month as Davis Love III led Team USA to a resounding six point victory over Team Europe.

Darren Clarke described the decision-making process in choosing his team, in particular his wildcards picks, as "one of the most difficult" in his career and ultimately his choices did not pay dividends.

Thomas Pieters was the only selection to justify his position on the team winning four points from a possible five and producing the best rookie performance of the tournament.

Martin Kaymer only picked up one point for Team Europe, while Lee Westwood, the most experienced of all the wildcard picks, lost all three of his matches.

Asked whether or not he felt he let friend and captain Clarke down with his performance he responded: "Yeah, a little bit. I was a captain’s pick and I would have liked to have performed well for him, but we sat down and chatted about it.

"He said: 'What could I have done differently?' and I said: 'I thought you did all you could'. The American team did to us what we have been doing to them the last 20 years.

"A lot of people said to me it’s a good result for the Ryder Cup and it keeps the interest in it. We had won it three times in a row. Sooner or later they are going to win one and it just happened to be under Darren's watch.

"It’s unfortunate and there's not a lot you can do, really. They had a strong team and I thought they got the set-up spot on for their team, when you look at it."

Westwood may not be seen as one of the favourites to take the captaincy for Paris in 2018, but still expressed his interest in taking up the role for Whistling Straits in 202.

"I certainly wouldn’t want to be the captain next time around. That’s too soon for me, but I think 2020 is definitely on my radar. There are a lot of candidates for it but I’ll be putting my name in the ring for sure. It’s something I’d like to do.

"I’ve played on 10 and witnessed 10 different forms of captaincy so I’m pretty well qualified to be a captain, I would have thought. I’ve played a lot in it and I’d like to maybe play again, but if I can’t play again I’d like to do the assistant captain’s role, see what goes on behind the scenes, although I paid a lot of attention to what Darren and the assistant captains were doing this year.

"I don’t think necessarily you have to be an assistant captain but it probably helps. Another angle to see it from, more experience."

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