The Golfers Who Have Missed Their Ryder Cup Captaincy Chances

Paul Lawrie has admitted he will likely never captain Europe at the Ryder Cup

Golfers Who Have Missed Their Ryder Cup Captaincy Chances

Paul Lawrie has admitted he will likely never captain Europe at the Ryder Cup

The Golfers Who Have Missed Their Ryder Cup Captaincy Chances

Padraig Harrington has been announced as Europe's next Ryder Cup captain and it is a big indication that some of his slightly older peers may never get the chance to captain Europe.

Harrington is 47-years-old and it is likely that Lee Westwood will follow on from him in 2022 aged 49.

After Westwood, in 2024, golfers such as Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter may fancy their chances of captaining Europe, which ultimately means that names considered for the 2018 and 2020 job may have missed their chance.

Westwood has his eyes on the 2022 captaincy

Other future captains will likely include Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia.

1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie, 50, is one of those names who has been considered for the role over the past couple of matches, although he appears to have now given up hope of one day becoming captain.

"Everyone who has ever played in the Ryder Cup wants to be the captain and I am no different," he told BBC Scotland.

"But it would be unlikely for it to happen for me now. I have only been a vice-captain once, and I think - rightly so - you need to be a vice-captain at least twice to know what the role entails.

"It is the previous five captains that pick the next captain. So if Thomas Bjorn [2018 captain] and Paul McGinley [2014 captain] don't see me as a vice-captain, they are hardly going to pick me as captain."

Lawrie made two Ryder Cup appearances in his career and was a vice captain in 2016 at Hazeltine, although wasn't brought in by Thomas Bjorn for the 2018 match at Le Golf National.

Other names who, like Lawrie, may now have missed the boat include two-time Major champion and five-time Ryder Cupper Sandy Lyle.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, now 55, will likely never captain Europe as well. The 21-time European Tour winner has made four appearances for Europe as a player and been a vice captain on two occasions.

Jimenez pictured at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. (Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images)

In an interview with Spanish outlet Ten-golf.com in 2016, Jimenez revealed that he was overlooked for the 2016 captaincy because of his English skills.

He described the decision as “a little bit banana republic.”

He also said, “But the excuse was that ’you have to perfect your English’, as if you win the Ryder Cup with the language. I believe interpreters exist for a reason, not that I ever needed one.

“Anyway, I exchanged some words with the Director of the Ryder Cup [Richard Hills] and the head of the tour at that time [George O’Grady] and told them that this was terrible."

Irishman Des Smyth, 65, is another name who was overlooked in the past. Smyth was a vice captain in 2006 and 2014 and made two appearances for Europe as a player.

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x