NEWPORT, Wales – When in coming weeks the world ranking points are crunched, Lee Westwood is expected to jump to No. 1.
Many would tell you that the Englishman is already No. 1 when it comes to this Ryder Cup business.
Having been ushered from the course Saturday night with the sight of a Steve Stricker birdie to cut his team’s lead to 4 up, Westwood hardly looked like he had a sleepless night. Instead, he and machine-like Luke Donald returned to the Celtic Manor after a lengthy rain delay and threw down three consecutive birdies to complete what is the worst defeat in Woods’ Ryder Cup history.
Matching the American’s par at the par-3 13th at Celtic Manor, Westwood and Donald rolled to a 6-and-5 victory in a foursomes match. It was the first match to conclude in the third session and allowed the Europeans to close the overall gap to 6-5 with five matches still going on.
When those matches are completed, officials will call it a day and come back for the 12 singles matches Monday.
While Westwood helped hand Woods and Stricker their first team defeat in this international golf business (they were 4-0 at the Presidents Cup and had won their first two matches here at Celtic Manor), he greatly improved his reputation as a Ryder Cup icon.
Now 2-0-1 this year, Westwood improved to 16-10-6 overall in the biennial affair – including 7-2-4 in foursomes and 7-4-2 in four-ball.
“Seeing as how they had won both their matches, it was nice to go out there and show they are beatable,” Donald said.
In the process, they helped show that Westwood is seemingly unbeatable in this stuff.
Previously, Woods’ worst defeat was 5 and 3 in a foursomes match alongside Mark O’Meara at the 1997 event in Spain. Colin Montgomerie and Bernhard Langer did the honors that day.