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?
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Sport
England’s opening goalscorer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles with Scotland’s Charlie Mulgrew
FootballEngland must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Sport
Wigan Athletic’s back-of-the shirt sponsor Premier Range has pulled out due to Malky Mackay’s arrival
Football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines