Darren Clarke revealed he wants Lee Westwood to be firing on all cylinders at the Ryder Cup in 2016.
The Team Europe captain is adamant former Ryder Cup teammate will be in the team that takes on the USA at Hazeltine next year.
However, the former Open Championship winner wants Westwood to earn his place in the team and not expect Clarke to use a captain's pick.
Westwood, a former world number one, has endured a poor 2015 season, picking up just one win and falling down to 43rd on the world rankings.
What's more is that the Englishman has just two top ten finishes in his last 19 starts. However, Clarke is not looking at his results, but rather at his statistics.
"Lee's stats of late are seriously impressive," the 47-year-old told Sky Sports.
"You may not think that from the way he's been scoring, but the stats are actually very good. He's still in the top echelon of European players right now.
"Of course Lee and I have been friends for many years, and our record together in the Ryder Cup was second only to Jose Maria Olazabal and Seve [Ballesteros].
"We know each other inside out, and I know what I can expect from him in the Ryder Cup, and I think he'll have a great chance of qualifying for the team next year. I hope he does, but if he doesn't, it won't be a pick for an old pal situation – that's not the way it works.
"But with someone like Lee who has vast experience, I'd be foolish to not want him on my team. As a friend I'd like him on the team, and as his prospective captain, I'd like him to make the team."
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