Europe’s Ryder Cup captain for 2016

Europe’s Ryder Cup captain for 2016 could be announced next week

Paul McGinley has revealed that the European Tour are edging closer to deciding on a new captain for the 2016 Ryder Cup in Minnesota. The Irishman, who led Europe to their third straight victory over America at Gleneagles last September, is part of the committee who will decide his successor. Darren Clarke is the overwhelming favourite to take over the role next year, although Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn are believed to be interested.

McGinley told Sky Sports that discussions are ongoing, and he expects the new captain to be appointed by early March. “There are discussions going on behind the scenes, and I’d like to think we’ll have somebody in place within the next two months,” he said. “We’re just making sure we’ve got everything in place before a decision is made, and we’re getting closer and closer. I’m gathering information from everyone and I want to get a really solid view of what everybody thinks before I bring my ideas forward. I’d like to think we’ll have somebody in place within the next two months.” The 48-year-old’s relationship with Clarke remains strained after the Northern Irishman withdrew his support for McGinley to lead Europe last summer, but insists that won’t make any impact on the selection. “Would Clarke be a good captain? The one thing I cannot do is express an opinion on that,” McGinley said. “I’ll talk about it afterwards but at this moment it’s only right I stay neutral and am fair to all the candidates. When I was trying to be captain, all I wanted was to be treated fairly by everybody so I think it’s important I do the same now I’m involved in the decision making process.”

McGinley also insisted the views of European Tour professionals will play a large part in the thoughts of the selection panel: “It’s very important for me to get a good understanding of where everybody stands on the candidates for the role, and we’ll appoint the person we think can continue the European success of recent years. Whoever is Ryder Cup captain though, it’s important he captains how he sees fit and doesn’t try to copy me or anybody else before. It’s important the captain is true to himself and captains the way he thinks is best to get a result for Europe. But if anybody wants to have a conversation with me, I certainly would be very happy to do so.”

Clarke is currently the best golf tipster’s favourite to be named captain, given his previous Ryder Cup success as a player and assistant captain while he is also a popular figure in the United States. A good golf tip has Jimenez in second and Bjorn third, while three-time major winner Padraig Harrington is a long-shot golf prediction.