|J Snyder III||+|
Europe competes for top award
Last updated: 3rd March 2013
Lee Westwood said it would mean a great deal if the European Ryder Cup team won a Laureus Award.
"As awards go, they don't come any bigger in the world of sport, so it would mean a great deal," said Westwood this week.
Darren Clarke, who was the vice-captain of the European team during the successful 2012 Ryder Cup campaign, said a Laureus Award would help dispel the notion that the European Tour is inferior to the United States PGA.
"It would be huge, and further evidence that the European Tour has huge strength in depth," said and excited Clarke.
The European Ryder Cup team, which also featured Westwood, defied all the odds when they came from behind to beat the United States in an enthralling final day at the Medinah Country Club.
Many have called the United States defeat one of the greatest capitulations in golfing history.
However, others - including the judges for the Laureus Awards - feel Europe posted one of the most extraordinary comebacks the sport has ever seen, hence the nomination for Comeback of the Year.
It will be a tough category to win and Clarke has acknowledged as much.
The Europeans will compete against Ernie Els, who stunned everybody when he won the Open Championship after failing to qualify for the Masters earlier that year; Tirunesh Dibaba, who won gold at the London Olympics after a 16 month absence from the sport and the German Olympic Eights Rowing team, which won the Olympic gold after 20 years of failure.
Clarke and Westwood reflected on what was an extraordinary comeback at the 2012 Ryder Cup.
"It's always special to play in the Ryder Cup, but apart from the K-Club, I can't think of anything more special than what was achieved last year," said Westwood.
"Very few people gave us a chance. In fact, I think there were more people thinking we could do it within the team room than there were outside it," added Westwood.
In addition the European Ryder Cup team has also been nominated in the Team of the Year Category.
"I don't really look on it from a personal standpoint, but there is great pride in being part of the European Tour, and all the success it has had in team golf's greatest competition," said Clarke.
"There is no greater evidence of team ethic than within the European Tour locker room. We all know one another, travel together, stay in the same places and mix together. We are a team before the team is known," added Irish golfer.
"The way we finished the Saturday matches, mainly thanks to Ian Poulter, had us heading into the final day believing that Mission Impossible may not be as impossible as many people felt," said Westwood of the team effort.
In the Team of the Year Category, Europe's Ryder Cup team competes against the Spanish Football team, The Chinese Table Tennis team, Red Bull Racing and the United States basketball team.
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