Englishman Lee Westwood had always known that Ulsterman Darren Clarke, with whom he was part of the second most successful pairing in the history of the Ryder Cup, would one day go on to skipper Team Europe.
But now that he has been handed the role, Westwood is wondering how he will handle the change of having to call his friend ‘gaffer’ instead of ‘partner’, as he has done for so many years.
He said that it will be very weird to play under him having played with him for so many years and being friends for even longer. He added with a smirk that he will have to mind his tongue lest he tell him to go away and mind his own business, now that he is the skipper. In reality, Westwood will have no such issues.
Team Europe has been so successful in the event since the turn of the century, winning 6 of the 7 matches contested so far and their mythical template that has forced the US team to copy their leadership style is something that gives Lee Westwood immense pride. He says that in that template, there is camaraderie and friendship as well as equality from top to bottom and Darren Clarke knows about it better than most.
Westwood said that Clarke has been around the team a long time, as a player on five occasions and as an assistant on two occasions and he knows the team inside out with the Liverpool boot room style being implemented.
However, Lee Westwood every captain is different and Clarke will be his own man as well. He added that he will be more of an emotional skipper like Seve Ballesteros or even Jose Maria Olazabal and he thinks that he will definitely continue the successful run that Europe is having.