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Lee Westwood backs Ian Woosnam

England's Lee Westwood has backed Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam's decision to hand him a wild card place ahead of Thomas Bjorn.

Denmark's Bjorn had launched a vitriolic attack against Welshman Woosnam on Monday andd said he deserved the selection as he was ranked higher and had performed better than Westwood.

Bjorn was later fined by the European Tour and has since apologised to Woosnam and the Tour for his outburst.

"It doesn't really matter what I think, whether I think I deserve it (the wild card), Ian Woosnam thinks I deserve it and he's the captain... he picks the team and he obviously has a plan," Westwood told a news conference on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old Westwood, speaking ahead of this week's Singapore Open, an event where he finished second to Australia's Adam Scott last year, refused to dwell on Bjorn's comments and instead chose to focus on helping Europe defend their title.

Europe's 12-man team take on the United States at the K Club in Ireland from Sept 22-24.

"All I can say is everyone is entitled to their opinion... I think Thomas has made it quite clear what his opinion is and that's the end of the matter as far as I am concerned.

"I am just looking forward to being part of the team at the K Club."

While wary of the U.S. threat, Westwood believes this year's European team could be as strong as the one that eased to an 18 1/2-9 ½ victory in Michigan two years ago.

"Some have said the U.S. team is not a strong team, but anyone who qualifies for their team is a world class player," he added.

"Having said that, I think the European team is the strongest that I have ever seen.

"There is a nice balance of youth, experience, rookies and people that have played in the Ryder Cup before and with good knowledge of the course.

"Most of the team would have played the K Club a number of times and a think we have got a great chance to win."

Westwood also believes his game is peaking at just the right time.

"I was playing well going into the last Ryder Cup and I am playing pretty well going into this one," he added.

"I feel that I am hitting the ball well enough and rolling it well on the greens and that had been lacking this year."

September 7, 2006

 




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