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.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
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

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam