Westy: US response “disappointing”

Lee Westwood says it was disappointing to see the defeated US Ryder Cup team air their “dirty laundry in public”.

In the wake of the United States’ 16.5 to 11.5 loss to Europe, American veteran Phil Mickelson openly criticised captain Tom Watson, who was just a few feet away from him at the time, at the post-tournament press conference.

That has led to a fortnight of apologies, inquests and soul-searching about what can be done to end the European dominance of the event.

Back on American soil for the PGA Tour’s Frys.com Open in California this week, Westwood said: “I think it’s a little bit disappointing to see the dirty laundry being out in public.

“It’s very difficult to pin-point in a team environment whose fault it specifically is.

“It’s a combination of a lot of different things. Maybe Tom got a few things wrong. Maybe the US team just didn’t quite play well enough in general. You know, if the other team plays well, you’re going to lose.

“I’m just pleased that I don’t have to sort it all out because I don’t like to see people’s great reputations being brought down by something that shouldn’t really happen in public.

“It should all be done behind closed doors and sorted out there, and the analysis should start there, really, and not be done in the press, in the media.”

Westwood also pointed to Europe’s defeat in 2008 under captain Nick Faldo. Several players reportedly had issues with Faldo’s captaincy at the time, but never publicly aired their frustrations.

“I think there were a lot of people disappointed in ’08 but we tried to come together and basically not say anything in public,” added Westwood.

“Whenever you lose you’re going to be disappointed and you’re going to think things could have been done better.

“It’s just a case of managing it and handling it and improving it for the next time professionally.

“Certainly for the future Ryder Cups the Europeans will remember how it’s all been handled.

“The European team will remember the fall-out from this one. It can’t do anything but build confidence for the European team going into the next one that it’s been handled so publicly this time.

“I guess we’ll see how easy it is to get the US team rattled by putting a bit of pressure on them. I don’t think anything good can come of all this (for the Americans).”