NAPA, Calif. – While the Ryder Cup celebrations continue in Europe, two weeks after the team in blue and yellow hoisted the trophy at Gleneagles, the American blame game rages on.
According to Lee Westwood, that may only help the European cause in 2016 and beyond.
Westwood is the lone European Ryder Cup member teeing it up this week at the Frys.com Open, and the Englishman feels that the American finger-pointing should have been done far from the public eye following their third consecutive loss in the event.
“From my point of view, I think it’s a little bit disappointing to see the dirty laundry being (aired) out in public,” he said. “I’m just pleased that I don’t have to sort it all out, because I don’t like to see people with great reputations, their great reputations being brought down by something that shouldn’t really happen in public. It should all be done behind closed doors and sorted out there.”
Westwood was a part of the European team in 2008, the continent’s lone loss in the biennial matches since 2000. While word of a rift between ’08 captain Nick Faldo and Sergio Garcia surfaced last month, the European squad members from those matches at Valhalla have remained largely silent, a stance that Westwood said was taken with purpose.
“I think there were a lot of people disappointed in ’08, but we tried to come together and basically not say anything in public,” he said. “Whenever you lose, you’re going to be disappointed and you’re going to think things could have been done better. It’s just a case of managing and handling it and improving it for the next time professionally.”
Victories in eight of the last 10 contests are reason enough for the Europeans to feel confident looking ahead to the 2016 matches, but Westwood added that the public nature of the American reaction to their latest loss could come back to haunt the U.S. squad the next time the two sides meet at Hazeltine National.
“Certainly for future Ryder Cups, the Europeans will remember how it’s all been handled. The European team will remember the fallout from this one. It can’t do anything but build confidence for the European team going into the next one,” he said. “I guess we’ll see how easy it is to get the U.S. team rattled by putting a bit of pressure on them. I don’t think anything good can come of all this.”