Luke Donald Favourite To Become Next European Ryder Cup Captain

The former World No. 1 received a glowing endorsement from last year's skipper Padraig Harrington

Luke Donald Favourite To Become Next European Ryder Cup Captain
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Luke Donald is now the favourite to become Europe's next Ryder Cup captain, with the 44-year-old already backed by Padraig Harrington to succeed him for the 2023 battle in Rome.

Harrington, who is part of a five-person committee to choose the next skipper, spoke to reporters at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, stating: “All I can say is that Luke would be great. Behind the scenes, he does a terrific job. His management style, he’s got the experience and I’d thoroughly recommend him.”

Luke Donald Favourite To Become Next European Ryder Cup Captain

Harrington and Donald chat at the 2020 Ryder Cup.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Previously, Lee Westwood was the front-runner, before the 48-year-old ruled himself out of the captaincy raceback in November, saying: "It’s almost a full-time job nowadays and that is something I can’t commit to while I’m in the top 50 and still competitive. The Ryder Cup is very close to my heart and I would only take on the role if I believe I could give it 100 per cent. Whoever gets the job for Rome will obviously have my full backing and I’ll continue to do all I can for the European cause."

With Westwood out, that appeared to leave Henrik Stenson in pole position. However, a report in The Telegraph revealed the Swede faced an ultimatum between the Ryder Cup captaincy and the Saudi Golf League, putting his suitability for the role into question.

Luke Donald Favourite To Become Next European Ryder Cup Captain

Both Westwood and Stenson had been favourites to take the captaincy.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If this were the case, then that would leave Donald the favourite to take up the captaincy. The Englishman has played in the Ryder Cup on four occasions, most recently 2012's ‘Miracle at Medinah’. As a player, he has never been on the losing side and also served as a vice-captain to the two most recent skippers, Thomas Bjorn in 2018 and Padraig Harrington last year.

Should Donald get chosen, he would become the fifth different Englishman to captain a Ryder Cup team in the European era and the first since Sir Nick Faldo in 2008.

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.