Seve to be captain in Ryder Cup

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Seve Ballesteros is expected to be confirmed as Europe's new Ryder Cup captain in the next few weeks. A newspaper report yesterday said that the 38-year-old Spaniard, always the odds-on favourite to take over from Bernard Gallacher, has now accepted an invitation to do the job.

Ballesteros refused to confirm the report but gave the broadest of hints that all that remains is the formal approval of the Ryder Cup Committee. "They will make a decision very soon. It has to go through them," he said.

Ballesteros, who has been taking a break from the game since last September's victory at Oak Hill, was visited by the European Tour's executive director, Ken Schofield, a fortnight ago.

"We spoke about the tour, but also a little bit about the Ryder Cup," Ballesteros said.

Ballesteros has been the obvious leading candidate for the 1997 match ever since it was announced that it would take place at Valderrama.

There is also the possibility of Ballesteros being a player and captain. There has been no playing captain since Arnold Palmer in 1963 but Tom Kite, already named as successor to Lanny Wadkins for the US team, has expressed the same wish as Ballesteros to play if he qualifies.

Ballesteros started practising again a month ago and expects to make his comeback either in the Moroccan Open in March or the Dubai Desert Classic the following week.

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