Sunday 1 February 2015

Profile: The names in contention for Ryder Cup captaincy

Published 14/01/2013 | 13:37

2012 Irish Open Golf Championship Day 1 - Thursday 28th June...28 June 2012; Paul McGinley acknowleges the crowd after his putt on the 16th Green during the 2012 Irish Open Golf Championship. Royal Portrush, Portrush, Co. Antrim. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE...ABC

THE European Tour's tournament committee meet to discuss the Ryder Cup captaincy in Abu Dhabi tomorrow night. Here, Press Association Sport looks at the players thought to have a chance.


Dubliner who sank the winning putt on his debut at The Belfry in 2002 and was also part of the victorious sides in 2004 and 2006. Was appointed Britain and Ireland captain and led them to wins over Continental Europe in the Seve Trophy in 2009 and 2011, and was also a vice-captain to Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal in the 2010 and 2012 Ryder Cup triumphs.


Record eight-time winner of the European Tour money list who won eight Ryder Cup caps, never losing in singles, before being the surprise choice to captain the side at Celtic Manor in 2010. Vowed not to do the job again after the one-point win, but the 2012 match at Gleneagles is close to his home and the first match in Scotland since 1973. With America naming Tom Watson, his name was thrown back into the race.


Although he has now said "this may not be the time" the committee may ask him to reconsider and not wait for 2016 in America, where his popularity makes him an obvious choice. Open champion in 2011 - the oldest since 1967 - Clarke's form dipped badly afterwards, but some better results of late have made him believe he could earn a sixth cap in Scotland. His last was in 2006, six weeks after his first wife died of breast cancer, and amazingly he won all his three games.


Broke his leg skiing last month, just weeks after becoming the European Tour's oldest-ever winner. Vice-captain to Seve Ballesteros at Valderrama in 1997, he made his playing debut two years later, won three more caps and was one of Jose Maria Olazabal's assistants in Chicago in September. Hugely popular with players and fans alike.


Will chair the committee meeting just as he did for the appointments of Montgomerie and Olazabal, but not out of the question that someone will propose him for the captaincy. Played in the match only twice and was involved in furious row with Ian Woosnam after not being handed a wild card in 2006, but has served as a vice-captain to Bernhard Langer before that and in the last two matches. More likely to be ear-marked for 2018 in Paris.

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