Langer decision 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.

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 statements that the captaincy should be a one-term appointment only.

"I wish to end all speculation that I will serve a second term," 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 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 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.

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.

* Michelle Wie is likely to be invited to the Women's British Open at Royal Birkdale in July. The 15-year-old Hawaiian has already played twice on the men's US Tour.

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.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
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

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living