Nick Faldo has ruled himself out of contention for the Seve Ballesteros Trophy between Great Britain and Ireland and Europe at Sunningdale in two weeks' time.
Colin Montgomerie, captain of the GB and Ireland side, had intended to monitor Faldo's form and that of Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle at next week's US Masters before naming his wild card but Faldo, in Atlanta for the BellSouth Classic that starts tomorrow, says he is committed to the MCI Classic in South Carolina and is not available.
"I've worked out my schedule for the whole year - I've got to play 15 US Tour events to keep my membership," Faldo said. "When I play I want to play well and I don't want to cross the Atlantic any more than I have to.
"I've worked hard to get it right. I've got my holidays booked and I'm afraid I'd have to say 'no' if Monty does offer me a spot."
Montgomerie, joint third at the Players Championship on Monday, said: "I'd be stupid not to wait for the Masters before deciding who to pick. If Sandy or Nick or Ian do well then obviously I'd like to have them in my team."
Faldo originally thought he was going to be offered the captaincy. "Seve called my manager John Simpson about it, and John told me Seve would then call me. I waited in, but the call didn't come," he said.
"The next thing I hear is the announcement that Monty is captain and the match is at Sunningdale rather than Chart Hills [the Faldo-designed course in Kent] or Woburn, which is where I thought it was going to be. It was crazy.
Most of the Britain and Ireland team is settled with one more player to come via this season's Order of Merit after next week plus Montgomerie's wild card.
Ballesteros, Europe's captain, has already assured Jose Maria Olazabal of a wild card, although he could qualify through the Order of Merit with a good defence of the Masters title.