Westwood ready to battle crowd and US team

Europe's Lee Westwood flexes his muscle for captain Jose Maria Olazabal at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Europe's Lee Westwood flexes his muscle for captain Jose Maria Olazabal at the Ryder Cup PGA golf tournament Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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LEE Westwood is ready to face a hostile crowd in his eighth Ryder Cup appearance this weekend.

The Worksop golfer, speaking ahead of the battle between Europe and America, said he expected to take some stick from the home fans at Medinah Country Club in Chicago – but insists that will only make victory sweeter.

Westwood, who has won five of his seven Ryder Cups with Europe, said: “The crowd will be right into it.”

“Chicago is a great sporting town – they get right behind their teams.”

“Some people don’t know the difference between supporting their team and abusing the opposition team, which is unfortunate.”

“You know you are against the crowd as well as the US team, but that is what makes it more satisfying when you come out as the winners.”

The 39-year-old, who has been joined in Illinois by his family, has added 19 points to Euorpean totals from 33 matches, and many expect him to take an on-course leadership role like he did in 2010 when Europe regained the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.

Westwood himself believes his experience will be of ‘equal’ importance on the course and in the team room.

“This is my eighth Ryder Cup. If I’m asked my opinion then I will give it, and it will be considered.”

“I’ve a fair amount of background and knowledge from experience.”

On Tuesday the Worksop Golf Club export played alongside Luke Donald, dishing out what he described as a ‘proper drubbing’ to Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, with a betterball score of 59, 13 under par.

He comes into the Ryder Cup on the back of a disappointing finish to his FedEx Cup campaign.

On Sunday he shot a final round of 74, after rounds of 72, 73 and 76 to finish 15 over and 25 shots behind winner Brandt Snedeker, who pocketed the $10 million bonus.

Westwood was bottom of the field of 30 and slipped to 10th in the final rankings.