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Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 18:38 UK

Westwood regrets crowd criticism

Lee Westwood

Westwood's original news conference

Lee Westwood says he regrets some of the comments he made about being on the receiving end of crowd abuse during Europe's Ryder Cup defeat.

After the United States' victory, Westwood claimed he had been abused "from start to finish".

But speaking on Tuesday he said: "A lot of what I said during and after the Ryder Cup didn't come out as intended.

"I regret singling out a small minority because far and away the greater majority were impeccably behaved."

In a statement issued by his management company, the English golfer went on to praise the US captain Paul Azinger, the man he had previously accused of inciting the crowd to cheer missed European putts.

He said: "Let me say right now that I applaud America's victory, Paul Azinger's captaincy in general and the vast majority of the watching public.

"My comments about the hecklers and Paul's geeing up the crowd before the event were in no way intended to be an excuse or the words of an ungracious loser.


"The American team performed brilliantly and fully deserved to win."

In his original news conference, Westwood told how a man dressed as a ghost jumped out in front of him at Valhalla.

He said one abusive comment was a "particularly nasty reference" to his mother and that his parents had also been woken by a phone call at 4.30am on Sunday.

Westwood blamed Azinger for whipping up the crowd.

But on Tuesday, he said: "Paul turned out to be a very good captain and both his ideas and tactics were spot on so it doesn't surprise me that there is a move to keep him in that position for the next match in Wales.

"I may not have been too thrilled with one or two things that happened in Valhalla, but I am taking absolutely nothing away from America's win.

"When you're beaten by a better side, you just have to admit it."

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see also
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Ryder Cup final day photos
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