Philosophical Westwood eyeing Ryder Cup at 50
Lee Westwood admits the Ryder Cup may give him more in life off the course than on it - but he is still aiming to be on the fairways at the age of 50 when Europe attempt to win it back in 2023.
The Englishman beat Harris English 1 Up in Sunday's singles as he played in a record breaking 47th match in his record equalling 11th Ryder Cup for Europe.
A 19-9 defeat will certainly not be the way that the 48-year-old wants to bow out as a player and, while captaincy talk has surrounded him for many years, the reigning Race to Dubai champion believes he could still break the playing appearance record in Rome in two years.
"I've played in a load of Ryder Cups and been a Vice Captain for Thomas (Bjørn) in Paris and it's something I'd love to do," he said of a potential future captaincy.
"I'm going to have to sit down over the next few months and weigh everything.
"I still feel like I've got a lot of golf in me. I said on the last green, could be my last match, and I don't want it to be.
"It might be the last match I've played in the Ryder Cup. I'd rather it wasn't, but I'm 49 next April, and the likelihood is it is. I got to share it with my son. Won my point."
When we're all in our twilight years, we'll sit down and we may cherish more the friends we've made in the Ryder Cup than the results
Westwood became Ryder Cup player number 118 when he made his debut in 1997 and since then a further 46 have pulled on the blue and gold for their continent. The only contest Westwood has missed in that time was at Le Golf National in 2018.
That means Westwood has stood shoulder to shoulder with 55 other proud Europeans against the United States in four different decades, and he admits that may mean more to him than his seven Ryder Cup wins.
"You like to win, but I guess when we're all grey - I'm already grey - when we're all in our twilight years, we'll sit down and we may cherish more the friends we've made in the Ryder Cup than the results," he said.
"You make a lot of friends, lifelong friends, and you get to know people really well," he said. "You're not just playing for yourself.
"I started playing golf because I didn't want to play football. I didn't want to play for other people. I wanted to play an individual sport and have everything upon me.
"But in golf, you get on the Ryder Cup team, and you're doing it for other people as well and I kind of miss being in a team every now and again. This comes along every two years and I cherish it. It's great to sit in that team room and listen to people pull their hats off and show their real them."