The committee that is in charge of selecting the next captain for the 2014 European Ryder Cup team may have just had its decision made by one of the candidates. Darren Clarke came out this week and stated that he is not sure he would want to accept the captaincy for the 2014 team as the time constraints are so much that it would take away from his golf game. Clarke noticed an improvement in his game at the end of last year and has three more years of exemptions for major tournaments and doesn’t want to lose a majority of that time adhering to his captaincy duties.
The decision this week was long rumored to come down to Clarke and Paul McGinley. Clarke is an obvious candidate as he has played on five Ryder Cup teams from 1997-2006, with four of those teams winning the event. Clarke was also appointed as the vice-captain for the 2010 team that was led by Colin Montgomerie. Clarke won his first major at The Open Championship in 2011 when he took home the Claret Jug at the age of 42. Many think that Clarke may be better suited to captain the 2016 Ryder Cup team when the contest comes back to the United States.
The other choice for the European team is McGinley, who played on three Ryder Cup teams from 2002-2006, all winners. In 2002, McGinley sunk a ten foot putt to seal the victory for the European team. McGinley has also acted as a vice-captain for the 2010 Ryder Cup team under Monty, and again in 2012 under Captain Jose Maria Olazabal. McGinley plays on the European tour and has been considered a good option for the 2014 competition at Gleneagles, Scotland due to his popularity and career on the Euro Tour.
The perfect option for the European team appears to be an announcement for the captaincy for the next two Ryder Cup competitions, with McGinley taking the reins for the 2014 team and committing Clarke to captain the 2016 event at Hazeltine. Monty did throw his hat back in the ring for a possible return in 2014, but that appears to be unlikely. Whatever the choice, the European team is going to have their hands full with an American team led by the very capable Tom Watson, and looking to overcome the horrific collapse of this past summer.