Lee Westwood has Ryder Cup spot in mind after Abu Dhabi victory
"I wouldn't want a pick, but if I qualified, I would definitely play," says Westwood
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 20/01/20 12:04am
Lee Westwood has set his sights on a potential record-equalling Ryder Cup appearance after winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
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The 46-year-old carded a final-round 67 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to register a two-stroke victory, making him only the third player in history to win European Tour events in four different decades.
Victory moves Westwood back inside the world's top 30 and puts him as the early leader in the Ryder Cup qualification standings, bolstering his hopes of featuring in Padraig Harrington's team at Whistling Straits.
Westwood acted as a vice-captain to Thomas Bjorn in Europe's victory at Le Golf National in 2018, but would love the opportunity to match Sir Nick Faldo's European record of 11 Ryder Cup appearances.
"It's only come to the forefront of my mind, that now I've got a chance to make the Ryder Cup team," Westwood said after his victory. "I thought I was done in the Ryder Cup to be honest as a player.
"I've played 10 and I really enjoyed watching everybody else suffer in the last one. Now I have given myself a chance to play. I'm not going to increase my schedule or anything like that, I'm just going to play week-in, week-out and see where that takes me.
"I'll be playing in all the big tournaments again. The World Golf Championships are all on the calendar now and obviously every major, so who knows. I would love to play another Ryder Cup as long as I'm good enough.
"I wouldn't want a pick, but if I qualified, I would definitely play. I'll be trying my hardest, there's no doubt about that, but you can't control qualifying for a Ryder Cup team."
Westwood took a one-shot lead into the final day and briefly increased that to three when he birdied the 12th, only to see his cushion cut to one before he sealed his two-stroke win with a final-hole birdie.
"I was trying not to look at leaderboards," Westwood added. "I peaked at a few on the way around the back nine and I could see that Victor [Perez] shot nine under, and Tommy [Fleetwood] was on nine under and finished 17.
"Fitz [Matt Fitzpatrick] didn't look like any better than 17, so just tried to par in once I was on 19 under. Bogeyed 16, but it was a nice, solid birdie at the last and hit two good shots on 17 as well."