Secretary, the R&A
You need an experienced player who knows what it's like in the firing line. For that reason, Mark James and Bernhard Langer would both fit the bill, with the proviso that they shouldn't try to qualify for the team as players. Otherwise, I'd go for Peter Oosterhuis. He was a very good Ryder Cup player who has kept in touch with golf through his TV involvement. In addition, he knows the American players, courses and type of golf well which is particularly valuable as next year's match is in the US.
Former Ryder Cup captain
Mark James would make a good captain - he'd definitely get my vote. He has the experience of playing in a number of Ryder Cups and helping Seve as part of his back-up team at the last match. He's also the chairman of the European Tour's tournament committee so is in touch with all the players on a week-to-week basis. He knows the young players who are coming through and are likely to be in contention, and is intelligent enough to handle what will be a very difficult assignment in America.
Leading senior player
Sam Torrance could do a pretty good job. The guy is well respected and has a good record over a long time. He's won tournaments on a regular basis and has a lot of personality. You can have a bit of fun with him and he's an amusing speaker but he's serious when he needs to be. The respect of the players is the most important factor, and the players have made it clear that they want to be led by someone who they see regularly on tour rather than one of the older brigade like me.
Former Ryder Cup captain
Sam Torrance would be my choice. He has played a major role in the matches over the last two decades. Whenever people talk of the contest at The Belfry in 1985, they remember that it was Sam who holed the winning
putt there and what a huge amount it meant to him. He's passionate about the Ryder Cup and that's what you need. There's nobody better in terms of experience. He might well scrape into the next team as a player, but he would be far more benefit to it as captain.
Bernhard Langer has been mentioned and I'm sure he'd be excellent, but the same applies to Mark James and Sam Torrance. It's important the captain is still playing regularly on tour and knows the players, but it isn't possible to have a playing captain. You can't be worrying about team sheets during your own match - it just won't work. My personal choice would be James. I know he sometimes seems a bit dour, but he's a genuine nice guy and is always interested in how other people are doing.
Ryder Cup player
There are enough potential captains to see us through the next five Ryder Cups. Ian Woosnam and Bernhard Langer will probably want to play. The same also applies to Mark James and Sam Torrance. If he's happy not to play, then James would be a good choice. He's a strong character who won't allow friendships to affect his judgement. Much of the job involves dealing with the media, so maybe Peter Oosterhuis or Ken Brown would do it well.Reuse content