Golf: Langer starts race for Ryder captaincy

BERNHARD LANGER paved the way for Ian Woosnam or Nick Faldo to be appointed the European Ryder Cup captain by confirming yesterday that he will not seek a second term. Instead, the German, who has already finished in the top five in the States this season, will attempt to regain his place as a player at the K Club in Ireland next year.

Langer masterminded a record nine-point victory at Oakland Hills last September and Colin Montgomerie was among those to suggest that if he wanted to do the job again it should be his. But despite speculation to the contrary in Singapore last week, Langer has stuck with his original statements that the captaincy should be a one-term appointment only.

"I wish to end all speculation that I will serve a second term as captain," Langer said. "I have informed the Tournament Committee through the chairman, Jamie Spence, that I have every intention of being a playing member of the 2006 European team.

"Both my wife Vikki and I have the most wonderful memories of the week in Detroit but playing golf remains my No 1 priority. I have made a solid start to this year and I intend to play a full schedule.

"It was a great honour to be the European captain, and I am particularly proud of the place that the 2004 team now holds in the record books, but it is the turn of one of my colleagues to take the reins. I look forward to playing on his team in Ireland."

With Montgomerie also saying he wants to play at the K Club, Woosnam and Faldo will be the main candidates considered at a meeting of the Tournament Committee in Dubai early next month. The Tournament Committee is made up of senior players on the European Tour, including Montgomerie, Langer, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley.

Woosnam will have plenty of support after being a popular assistant to Mark James in 1999 and the vice-captain to Sam Torrance in 2002. Torrance has publicly backed Woosnam in the last few weeks.

But Faldo's credentials remain hard to overlook as the record-holder for most appearances and points scored in the Ryder Cup. Ironically, Faldo probably has a better relationship with some of the younger players who will be trying to make future European teams than some of his contemporaries who will be sitting in judgement, although his main nemesis, Mark James, has retired as chairman of the committee.

Whoever misses out, both will have passed 50 and become Senior Tour golfers by the time the match after next comes along. Although Faldo has hinted otherwise, he might still take the job in 2008 in the States, while Woosnam might be the sentimental choice when the competition moves to Celtic Manor in Wales two years later.

Sandy Lyle has voiced his interest in the job but the Scot has not played since 1987 and has not served as an assistant or vice-captain. One name that is rarely mentioned, but should be, is that of Jose Maria Olazabal. Tour officials would like to stop all the campaigning for the job and the Spaniard's patience in awaiting an invitation should be rewarded with a phone call at some point.

l Michelle Wie is likely to be invited to the Women's British Open at Royal Birkdale in July. The 15-year-old Hawaiian, who has already played twice on the men's US Tour, attracted record crowds to Formby last summer when she helped America retain the Curtis Cup.

RUNNERS AND RYDERS POTENTIAL CAPTAINS

IAN WOOSNAM

AGE 46

Proved a wonderful team player over eight matches from 1983-97. Formed some outstanding partnerships, including with Faldo in '87 and '89, but strangely never won a singles match. Worked in the backroom in '99 and was lauded by Sam Torrance for his efforts as his vice-captain in 2002. Always more inclined to the bar than the gym, would be sure to preside over a relaxed and happy ship.

NICK FALDO

AGE 47

Dropped out of the running last time in a failed attempt to extend his record of appearances to 12. Also the record point-scorer in the history of the Ryder Cup. Defining moment was the crucial singles defeat of Curtis Strange at Oak Hill in 1995. Now a part-time TV commentator in the United States. England's greatest player of modern times, a hero to many of the youngsters now breaking through into the team.

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL

AGE 38

Formed Europe's greatest ever partnership with countryman Seve Ballesteros. Every bit as passionate and intense as his fellow Spaniard. Last of his six caps came in '99 at Brookline where he had to putt after the Americans had invaded the green. Respected by everyone on the European Tour but may still want to play. Turns 39 on Saturday so will find himself behind older men in the queue.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride