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paul lawrie ryder cup

‘That’s not going to happen’: Paul Lawrie declares end to Ryder Cup captaincy hopes

Paul Lawrie believes he has missed the boat with Ryder Cup captaincy as he has seen three attempts rejected so far…

 

Paul Lawrie has ruled out ever being European Ryder Cup captain.

The 1999 Open champion told the NCG Golf Podcast he has made three unsuccessful bids to become the continent’s Ryder Cup skipper, having represented Europe twice as a player.

After Luke Donald passed his leadership test with flying colours at the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome, the Englishman was reappointed to lead the blue and gold side against the USA in 2025.

Henrik Stenson was initially selected for the event’s 44th edition before Donald replaced him as captain for joining LIV Golf. Lawrie deemed that selection process the last he’d put himself through.

“I would’ve thought the captaincy is gone for me now,” Lawrie said, who was a vice-captain at the 2016 Ryder Cup. “I tried three times to be the captain. I tried for Gleneagles (2014), but I was a bit late deciding that I wanted to do it there.

“They chose (Paul) McGinley who did a magnificent job, and then I went for it in 2018, and I think it was down to Thomas Bjorn and myself, and they chose Thomas.

“Again, Thomas did a fantastic job, fair enough. And then, I went for it again in Rome and didn’t get it and they wrongly gave it to (Henrik) Stenson, because I think everyone could see he was thinking about going to LIV or talking about LIV and that wasn’t allowed at the time.

“Then Luke (Donald) got it and Luke was magnificent. Luke was up there as much as McGinley for me with the job he did, considering the result of the previous outing that they had.

“I’ve always said that if you’re a winning captain, you should be allowed to defend. So the fact that he’s got it again is the right thing to do.

“That leaves everybody almost four years from now for somebody who is the next captain and I’ll be 59, nearly 60, so that’s not going to happen for me.

“I don’t think I’ll be the captain now which is fine, it’s not an issue. I would’ve loved to have done that, it would’ve capped off my career, but it’s not going to happen so sometimes, you don’t always get what you want.”

The pool of future Ryder Cup captains has largely been emptied by the emergence of LIV Golf, especially when the DP World Tour earned the right to fine and suspend those who compete in the Saudi-backed league.

This meant figures such as Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter resigned their memberships and ended their prospects of future involvement in the biennial battle with America, despite building rich Ryder Cup legacies in their storied careers.

A compromise between the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund could unify these bodies and bring Europe’s legends back into the fray but, for now, Lawrie would still fit the bill on what is currently a sparse candidate list.

Justin Rose is a name that has been linked to the job for the 2027 Ryder Cup at Adare Manor in Ireland, while Edoardo and Francesco Molinari could also be in line from 2029 onwards following their successful stints as vice-captains at Marco Simone last year.

paul lawrie ryder cup

Paul Lawrie: Ryder Cup opening tee shot and the Miracle at Medinah

The Scotsman made his debut at the Ryder Cup at Brookline in the same year he won The Open Championship at Carnoustie.

After hitting the opening tee shot, he and Colin Montgomerie took down Phil Mickelson and David Duval in the Friday foursomes, and they also beat Tiger Woods and Steve Pate in the Saturday fourballs.

Lawrie earned his third point in the singles against Jeff Maggert, but the rest, of course, is history as America came from 10-6 down to complete a famous turnaround.

His Ryder Cup story wasn’t over just yet as in 2012, Lawrie played for Europe for a second time at Medinah in Chicago where his side inflicted a comeback as seismic as the United States did to Europe 13 years previous.

Lawrie recalled his memories from both Ryder Cups, and the instructions captain Jose Maria Olazabal gave Europe heading into the Sunday singles 12 years ago, facing a four-point deficit from the first two days of action.

“I hit the opening tee shot in 1999 playing with Monty on the Friday morning,” he said. “That will be something I will never, ever forget and I don’t think you can get better than that to start the Ryder Cup off.

“I think it’s a pretty cool thing to tell your grandkids that you were the one who drove off on the first morning.

“And then in 2012 at Medinah, I went out number five in the singles and we were four points behind. Jose Maria said the first five players must win in the morning to get us ahead and he’s put you in at number five!

“He’s asking you to get a point, so to go out there and shoot 6-under-par for 15 holes is the best golf I think I’ve ever played, under the pressure that you were under.

“Winning The Open will be the biggest thing I ever achieve, that will always be the case, but 2012 at Medinah, that Sunday, I don’t think it gets much better than that for a golfer.

“When your backs are against the wall and you’re playing against a top team that is all playing well, they’re all putting well, the crowd – you’re away from home again the crowd.

“To turn that around the way, we did. That was amazing, that was amazing to be part of that.”

NOW READ: Surinder Arora wants to bring the ‘best Ryder Cup ever’ to Luton Hoo

NOW READ: Martin Kaymer casts doubt on LIV Golfers skippering Europe at Ryder Cup

Listen to the NCG Golf Podcast here!

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