Monday, December 29

Jiménez Ambivalent About 2016 Ryder Cup Captaincy

By Brian Keogh

Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.

Golf news from Brian Keogh's
Irish Golf Desk.
DARREN CLARKE HAS BEEN THE ODDS on favourite for the 2016 European Ryder Cup captaincy for some time now but it appears that his biggest rival for the job, Miguel Angel Jiménez, has all but ruled himself out of the running.

Speaking to Spanish golf portal, Big Mig is plainly worried that he would be accepting that he's finished as a competitive force if he were to spend the next two years preparing to captain Europe. While he turns 51 this day week, January 5, he made it clear in a year-ending interview that he still feels highly competitive and wants to concentrate on winning that elusive major having racked up there Top-5s and nine Top-10s so far.

Fourth in the Masters last year — his fourth Top-10 at Augusta National since 1992 — world No 40 Jiménez believes he cannot afford to dilute his efforts when he's still a contender for major honours.

"I see myself in the mix," Jiménez told Ten-golf when asked about the 2016 captaincy. "But what happens is that if you dedicate yourself to being captain your game is possibly going to deteriorate because there is so much to do. And I want to compete."

Smiling, he added: "So I do [want to be captain] and I don't..."

With Thomas Bjorn indicating the day after the Ryder Cup win at Gleneagles that he also wants to concentrate on playing again, it would appear that the European captaincy race is all over bar the shouting. A decision, which is in the hands of the three immediate past captains in Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal and Paul McGinley with the help of Players Committee representative David Howell and CEO George O'Grady, is expected early in the New Year.

Although a decision could well come before the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which begins on January 15, the three past captains have yet to meet to discuss the issue, making a post Desert Swing announcement more likely.

The 2016 Ryder Cup will be played at Hazeltine in Minnesota.

Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.

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