Tearful Westwood so proud to join Ryder Cup greats

Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:55pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Lee Westwood was overcome with emotion after joining the Ryder Cup greats on Saturday and at the same time helping Europe claim a commanding 10-6 lead over the United States On Saturday.

The 41-year-old moved alongside Arnold Palmer in the all-time scoring list on 23 points with only Nick Faldo (25), Bernhard Langer (24), Billy Casper (23 1/2) and Colin Montgomerie (23 1/2) ahead of them.

Westwood, who is appearing in the biennial team event for the ninth successive time, was particularly proud to surpass the late Seve Ballesteros's tally of 22 1/2 points.

"To move above Seve is something I guess you just don't ever imagine doing," the tearful Englishman told reporters after he and Welsh rookie Jamie Donaldson beat Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar 2 & 1 in the afternoon foursomes.

"He's such a legend. I've always said the Ryder Cup is not about individual points totals, it's about winning the cup for Europe, but to be among names like that is obviously very satisfying."

Ballesteros was the skipper when Westwood made his Ryder Cup debut at Valderrama, Spain in 1997.

"l think he captained like he played, very flamboyant, very unpredictable," said the former world number one who has had a lean season and only earned a place in Europe's team this year as a wildcard selection.

"You just remember him wanting to do everything himself. Basically, he would grab the club out of your hand and want to play the shot, that was his passion for the game and passion for the Ryder Cup.   Continued...

European Ryder Cup player Lee Westwood hits out a bunker on the eighth hole during his fourballs 40th Ryder Cup match at Gleneagles in Scotland September 27, 2014.   REUTERS/Toby Melville