Why does the Ryder Cup captain have to change every year? NCG’s Matt Chivers doesn’t know, but he does have a new strategy that proves the metal of the leaders of Team Europe and USA…
Padraig Harrington must live with the memory of the Whistling Straits drubbing handed to Europe in 2021.
It wasn’t his fault. The players loudly sang his praises and rightly so. He immersed himself in the captain’s job and took the blue-gold team to Wisconsin in the best possible shape.
No pairing combination or preparation technique could have turned around what became a 19-9 demolition by a stellar US side.
But the writing on paper says he is a losing Ryder Cup captain. End of.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have Luke Donald who led Europe to victory in Rome.
He became the seventh European captain in a row to remain undefeated on home soil. There have only been two losing home captains for Europe since the continental team formed in 1979.
Donald excelled at Marco Simone, but he isn’t special. He has done nothing that many others haven’t done before him.
If Donald’s turn was Whistling Straits two years ago, and Harrington’s was this time in Italy, these leaders would have a completely different outlook.
The Englishman joins the group of Paul McGinley, Colin Montgomerie and Thomas Bjorn, heralded as successes and masterful captains.
Meanwhile, Harrington will be placed in the same ballpark as Darren Clarke and Sir Nick Faldo – figures who fell on an away year for Europe and didn’t achieve something that is rarely accomplished anyway.
Donald should stay in his post at Bethpage in 2025 to prove his quality beyond home comforts in the hostility of the away end.
Let’s see Donald versus Zach Johnson again in Long Island, and give Johnson another chance to right the wrongs of last week too.
Let’s adopt this system permanently.
Harrington must be given the opportunity for redemption at a home Ryder Cup, and not become a victim of mere bad timing.
If he loses, fine. Draw the knives and start jabbing, but why can’t he have the luxury of home turf so many captains have had before him?
Follow the example of the Solheim Cup.
The rescheduled 2024 event was a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but this has only worked to the advantage of Suzann Pettersen, Stacy Lewis, and the event as a whole.
Pettersen has the chance to extend Europe’s unbeaten record to four editions and cement an even greater legacy, while Lewis can bounce back from the stalemate at Finca Cortesin.
Donald can enhance his legacy too. Imagine if he masterminded back-to-back Ryder Cup victories on both sides of the pond.
Captains should lead in two-event tenures from now on. It is even more suitable in the current climate where candidates are hardly banging on the door.
Paul Lawrie has ruled himself out which could leave Robert Karlsson next in line. But why deprive Donald of the chance to finish what he’s started in 2025?
After Johnson, who is taking the role in America? Are we really picking from the pool of Furyk, Love III, Stricker, Couples and Cink again?
The Telegraph has reported the current captain selection process is to be scrapped, allowing an easier route for Donald to go again.
Great news, I say. Give these captains two Ryder Cup reigns and then we can judge them.
What’s your view on the future Ryder Cup captains? Should the Ryder Cup future captains always be new faces? Tell us on X!
We dive deep into the golf ball roll back plans!