Willett picks Westwood for World Cup challenge


LONDON: Masters champion Danny Willett picked veteran Lee Westwood on Monday to partner him for the England team at the World Cup in Melbourne in November.

Willett, whose form has tailed off since his remarkable win in the first major of the season in April, earned the right to choose his partner because he is the highest-ranked Englishman who said he would compete in Australia for the event that runs from November 23-27.

The defending champions — for the 72-hole tournament which will differ to the previous renewal in 2013 which had both a team and individual prize — are Australian aces Jason Day and Adam Scott.

Day won the individual event in 2013 and Scott paired up with him to win the team title.

“It’s a different format this time so I’m really looking forward to playing with Westy,” said Willett, who finished 37th in the golf tournament at the Rio Olympics.

“He’s played in nine Ryder Cups and has unbelievable experience of foursomes and fourballs, so I couldn’t have picked a better partner,” added the 28-year-old.

Westwood, who has been a stalwart of several Ryder Cup-winning European teams down the years, for his part said he was delighted he would be making his debut in the tournament with Willett.

“Over the past couple of years Danny has shown what he’s capable of and I’ve got no doubt he’s going to prove a great partner, so I’m looking forward to pairing up with him,” said Westwood.

“I’ve always enjoyed team golf. It’s an exciting format and it adds to the occasion when you’re playing for your country, so hopefully we can bring the trophy home with us,” added the 43-year-old.

Scotland also announced their duo, in-form Russell Knox, who won the Travelers Championship this month, selecting Duncan Stewart, who went to the same American university as him.