Lee Westwood believes Great Britain and Ireland start the Vivendi Seve Trophy as underdogs despite winning the last five contests against Continental Europe.
While the World Number Two is joined by Open Champion Darren Clarke and last week’s winner Simon Dyson in a strong side for Paul McGinley’s team, Westwood believes Jean Van de Velde’s men will start as favourites at St-Nom-La-Bretèche.
Asked whether Great Britain & Ireland were unbeatable having not lost the contest since its first staging in 2000, Westwood replied: “I don't know whether it's invincible. I think on paper the European side have got players higher in the World Rankings.
“But golf is not played on paper; it's played on grass, and I suppose with that they are slight favourites. But I think a lot of the British players have played a lot of match play golf over the years and might have a few tricks up their sleeves.”
Westwood believes the return of 2009 winning captain McGinley could prove a key factor in France.
“Paul has done it before and been successful,” he added. “There's a good few experienced players on the GB & I side that can lead the rookies along as well. It's a nice balance - I think if we play to our best then we'll have a chance.
“He's very good. When he talks he sounds like he has a lot of confidence in himself and a lot of confidence in the team and seems to have a plan. All of the boxes ticked for eventualities out there, and he has the experience of playing in a Ryder Cup Team and things like that so he's seen different captaincies, and when he talks, you listen.”
Westwood’s last appearance in the event came back in 2003, when he won three points from a possible five.
“It's eight years since I played the Seve Trophy,” he added. “Vivendi have obviously come on board just recently and it's gaining in prestige every year.
“Obviously there's a tinge of sadness this year with Seve passing away early in the year but it's nice that it's a good lineup this week, and I'm sure in the true Seve tradition, it will be as competitive as ever.”