No rest for Westwood and McDowell

No rest for Westwood and McDowell

Lee Westwood should not have any abuse to put up with at The Belfry this week, but fatigue could well be a factor in his defence of the Quinn Direct British Masters.

Of Nick Faldo’s beaten Ryder Cup side in Louisville, only Westwood and Ireland's Graeme McDowell are in action on the course that staged the 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002 matches.

Oliver Wilson was to have played as well, but withdrew on Tuesday because he did not think he was able to give his best – and that despite playing only two of the five sessions on his Ryder Cup debut.

“It’s a big decision because it’s my home tournament and I know quite a few people who were going to come and watch me,” said Wilson.

“But I’ve made a few mistakes this year playing when I wasn’t ready to play and I don’t think I can give it 100% this week.

“Last week was easily the greatest experience of my life. That sounds weird because we lost and we were all devastated about that, but it was such an incredible stage to perform on and there were so many highlights.

“Yes it was only two matches I played, but they were 14-hour days and I’m worn out. It’s been hard to switch off.

“This way I can rest and prepare for the Dunhill Links in Scotland next week.”

Westwood played in four of the five sessions in Kentucky and also had to cope with some “shameful” heckling as well, although he now regrets some of the comments he made.

“A lot of what I said didn’t come out quite as I intended and finished up sounding like sour grapes,” he said in a statement issued by his management company today.

“So let me say right now that I applaud America’s victory, Paul Azinger’s captaincy in general and the vast majority of the watching public who witnessed a titanic struggle between two very good sides.

“I regret that I singled out a small minority of the crowd who had a go at me and my family during competition days because far and away the greater majority were impeccably behaved and got right behind their team – as did the excellent European supporters.

“My comments about the hecklers and Paul’s geeing up the crowd before the event were in no way intended to be an excuse or the words of an ungracious loser.

“I may not have been too thrilled with one or two things that happened in Valhalla, but I am taking absolutely nothing away from America’s win.

“When you’re beaten by a better side, you just have to admit it.”

McDowell and Westwood have both been given a late tee-off in tomorrow’s opening round so they can get some more rest in.

Westwood is bound to carry the biggest gallery of the day because he is paired with Colin Montgomerie and former US Open champion Michael Campbell.

McDowell is with Paul McGinley and Swede Johan Edfors, while among the early starters are Darren Clarke, David Howell, Thomas Bjorn and Ross Fisher.

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