John Huggan explains how the Euros vote on their next Ryder Cup this week and handicaps the leading candidates, but says "already this whole thing has taken on something akin to epic proportions." I particularly enjoyed his handicapping of Monty (Jakarta!) and Sandy Lyle (too honest).
James Corrigan looks at the notion of players deciding on the next European Ryder Cup captain and the expected calls for a review of the "disorderly" process that now has Colin Montgomerie emerging as a dark horse candidate.
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that at least one committee member is intending to bring up the disorderly nature of the procedure. The rank-and-file members will turn up, hear a few names suggested and then be expected to vote with nothing more than prior knowledge and instinct. They may query whether Sandy Lyle has been approached to see if he is interested? Has Miguel Ángel Jiménez been asked? If Monty, then why not previous winning captains. Bernhard Langer anyone?
Ian Woosnam, the 2006 captain, used his Twitter feed on Friday to call for a radical overhaul of the decision-making process. The Welshman’s idea is for a committee of past captains to decide. Under the current set-up he feels there are “too many players on the committee wanting the job”. Woosnam does not just mean for 2014 but for the years ahead.
In a different Corrigan story, he says the announcement will be immediate to prevent betting shenanigans in 2009 when Monty was selected.
“If we come to a decision in Abu Dhabi we will have to announce it that night,” said Thomas Bjorn, the chairman of the 15-man Tournament Players Committee which will meet in the United Arab Emirates capital on Tuesday evening.
Martin Dempster quotes a non-campaigning campaigning Monty as flattered that he might be nominated.
“I am excited and honoured and very flattered really that my name has been put in the frame and that possibly I’ll be nominated,” the eight-time European No 1 told The Scotsman on the eve of the Volvo Golf Champions event in Durban.
“I’ve never canvassed, as I didn’t last time [when he was appointed four years ago for the 2010 match in Wales]. I’ve not spoken to anybody about this. But I’ve always felt that, if I was asked, I would do it and that’s still the case. Darren Clarke has made comments regarding the Tom Watson scenario and this meeting will contain the words ‘Tom Watson’ in it – I don’t think at the last two [US captains] Corey Pavin and Davis Love were mentioned.
Punters seem to like his chances, as Betfair odds now have Monty nearly catching McGinley as the favorite. Just a week or so ago you could still have Monty at 8-1, but now he's down to 2-1.