Future Ryder Cup Captains - We Predict The Next Five For Team USA And Europe

Woods in Ireland? Harrington back for revenge? We predict who the next five European and USA Ryder Cup captains will be...

Four golfers in a montage and the Ryder Cup trophy in the middle
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With the latest edition of the Ryder Cup around the corner in September, it's time to look ahead at the potential pulsating captaincy matchups to come in the next ten years. 

The task of predicting future captains has got a lot tougher with the ongoing and drawn-out fallout surrounding LIV Golf. What looked like a golden generation of European Ryder Cup captains with the likes of Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell now looks up in the air and unlikely to materialise - albeit the PGA and DP World Tour's deal with the PIF may change that.

At present at least, it looks like they won't get the chance so that's how we'll base our prediction. But if the last year of professional golf has taught us anything, it's that nothing is ever out of the question.

The US team is less affected by recent developments but they will have to grapple with a rather sizeable Phil Mickelson problem. He seemed destined for captaincy (probably Bethpage 2025) but that's now difficult to imagine. Tiger Woods is surely a lock but when exactly will the legendary American get his shot?

Let's have a go at predicting the next five Ryder Cup captains...

Future Ryder Cup Captains - Predictions

2025 Bethpage Black, New York, USA

Europe: Nicolas Colsaerts

Nicolas Colsaerts in a Ryder Cup shirst ahead of the 2023 ryder cup

Colsaerts is a vice captain in 2023 at Marco Simone

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Colsaerts only represented Team Europe on one occasion in 2012 at Medinah but with several big names likely out of consideration, the Belgian could well be the next man up in 2025.

With it being a US Ryder Cup and Colsaerts, a very well respected figure on the DP World Tour, being part of the famous Miracle at Medinah, it could be a good fit.

He's set to be a vice captain for Luke Donald in 2023 at Marco Simone and all being well, he could be given the captain's duties next time.

If it isn't Colsaerts, another name for the hat is Edoardo Molinari. The Italian played in the 2010 Ryder Cup, is also a vice captain this time and is renowned for his use of stats - something that comes in very handy for the Ryder Cup.

United States: Stewart Cink

Stewart Cink hits a tee shot

Cink has played in five Ryder Cups

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The 2025 Ryder Cup had Phil Mickelson written all over it. But with his acrimonious departure to LIV, there's perhaps a feeling that lefty may have burned a few too many bridges and could well have sacrificed his chance at captaining the US Team, at least this soon.

In his place, we'll go for the experienced Stewart Cink. The 2009 Open Champion was a member of five Ryder Cups but only won once in 2008. He's been selected as a vice captain by Zach Johnson ahead of the 2023 Ryder Cup so it's a logical next step to captain the side two years on.

2027 Adare Manor, Ireland

Europe: Padraig Harrington

Captain Padraig Harrington of Ireland and team Europe walks to the 12th hole during Saturday Afternoon Fourball Matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Strait

Harrington was previously unsuccessful as a Ryder Cup captain back in 2021

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Europe haven't tended to give captains another a second chance, but with their current predicament they may have to get a bit more creative with their captaincy picks.

It didn't go well for Harrington last time, admittedly, with Europe's record defeat at Whistling Straits in 2021 but with Graeme McDowell probably out of the running for a Ryder Cup captaincy in Ireland, could Harrington be tempted at another crack in front of his home fans?

It would be nice to see him get the job on home soil after taking his team away last time out against the unstoppable Americans.

United States: Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods competing in the 2018 Ryder Cup

Woods is a certainty to captain the US team in the future

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It's the big one. 

It's going to happen at some stage and 2027 feels about right for Tiger Woods to have a crack. The US team may want to save him for a home Ryder Cup but Woods vs Harrington has a nice ring to it. 

Add to that his current, ongoing injury concerns and 2025 feels too soon to ask Tiger to take on the captaincy responsibilities. Give him a couple more years to recover and then a crack at guiding a US team to a victory on away soil. 

He has played Adare Manor before in the JP McManus Pro-Am. He also won the 2002 WGC-American Express Championship in Ireland and has historically practised on Irish links courses ahead of The Open.

2029 Hazeltine, Minnesota, USA

Europe: Edoardo Molinari

Edoardo Molinari tees off

Could Edoardo be an unlikely Ryder Cup captain?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another man, like Colsaerts, who perhaps never thought he'd get a look in at a Ryder Cup captaincy. Edoardo Molinari played in the 2010 Ryder Cup but as a vice captain in 2023, he may well get a chance to audition for a future Ryder Cup captaincy. 

Molinari's selection as a vice captain this year perhaps demonstrates that they see similar potential in the Italian. He may may well look to follow in his footsteps when the European teams head to Hazeltine in 2029. His brother Francesco would be a great vice captain, too.

United States: Matt Kuchar

Matt Kuchar and Jim Furyk holding up the Ryder Cup trophy ahead of the 2018 tournament

Kuchar was one of Jim Furyk's assistants for the Ryder Cup in 2018

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A quiet, reserved character; Matt Kuchar may not scream Ryder Cup captain but with five appearances as a player and one as a vice captain in 2018, he's got buckets of experience and a temperament that should be perfect for the chaos of a Ryder Cup.

2031 Venue, Europe TBC

Europe: Justin Rose

Justin Rose competing in the 2018 Ryder Cup

Rose has won three Ryder Cups as a player

(Image credit: Getty Images)

We are quite some way down the line at this point but it feels extremely likely that in this current landscape, Justin Rose will get his turn to lead the European team into battle. 

A veteran as a player, he has bundles of experience and ticks all the boxes for a Ryder Cup captain. He may well be selected earlier, perhaps instead of Edoardo Molinari in 2029, but given he'd be 49 by this point, 2031 feels about the right time to make the transition from player to captain. 

United States: Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson competing in the 2018 ryder cup

Watson may have an outside chance of Ryder Cup captaincy

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There's a few big names in and around this time frame that could be in contention but we'll go for Bubba Watson. He'll be 51 by this point and feels a more natural fit for this leadership position than someone like Dustin Johnson, who is of a similar age and Ryder Cup pedigree.

The two-time Masters champion lost all four Ryder Cups as a player and will be desperate to get one back. His crowd antics before his first drive in 2012 will live long in the memory and he was also involved in the 2021 Solheim Cup as an assistant. 

2033, The Olympic Golf Club, California, USA

Europe: Francesco Molinari 

Francesco Molinari holding up an Italian flag

Francesco was instrumental in Europe's 2018 Ryder Cup victory 

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The Molinari brothers became the first siblings to compete together in a Ryder Cup for 47 years. How about the first to both be Ryder Cup captains? If the likes of Westwood, Garcia, Poulter, McDowell and Stenson don't get their chances, Francesco seems destined to be given a go. 

The star of the 2018 Ryder Cup alongside Tommy Fleetwood, the Italian would face a tough ask in 2023 when the Ryder Cup heads to California - which is also where he currently lives. 

United States: Webb Simpson

Webb Simpson competing in the Ryder Cup

Simpson will be 48 by the time of the time of the 2033 Ryder Cup

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Simpson never tasted Ryder Cup victory as a player but with a deep-rooted competitive spirit and some huge wins including the 2012 US Open at this very course, he'll be eyeing up redemption as a captain should he get the opportunity. 

He feels like the kind of character that would rise to the challenge and would be 48-years-old by the time the 2033 Ryder Cup rolls around. 

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.