Lee Westwood has hinted he may not be ready to captain Europe at the next Ryder Cup.
The 48-year-old made a European record-equalling 11th appearance in the biennial contest at Whistling Straits last week and, despite winding up on the losing side for just the fourth time with a 1-2-0 record, he told Sky Sports News that he still has more to give.
“I love playing," said the Englishman. “I don’t know whether I’d miss it too much. I feel like I’ve still got the nerve. I proved that today. And playing beats sitting there watching other people. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was in Paris sitting there watching the lads play.
“Nothing replicates feeling the nerves and the pressure and wanting to do it.
“It almost feels like going into semi-retirement and you’re retired a long time. I’m not sure. I’m not sure whether I’m ready for semi-retirement yet. I literally love working hard and I love it too much to stop.”
This is a fairly significant U-turn from Westwood, who, in January 2019, publicly threw his hat into the ring to lead Europe at Marco Simone Golf Club near Rome.
“I’d love to have it in Italy,” he said. “I’ll be 49, and that’s the ideal time to be captain in my point of view. I’ll still be playing out here. I’ll still be in touch with the players.”
That, however, was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and before he won the European Tour’s Race To Dubai in 2020.
Should Westwood decide to pass up the opportunity to succeed Padraig Harrington, names in the frame to take the reins include Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson.
A decision on who will get the Italian job is expected to be made early in 2022.