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The curious case of the Ryder Cup captaincy

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    The curious case of the Ryder Cup captaincy

    Is there another appointment in world sport as bizarre as the Ryder Cup captaincy? It's probably the biggest "job" in golf, and for two or three weeks every couple of years, everything the respective Captains do, from their choice of blazers for the teams to wear, to what they eat, and everything they say, is analyzed to the same extent as a politician's performance at a Party Conference. They are revered or vilified for the decisions they take only in the glowing or damning hindsight of whether their team (of which they are not a playing member), in the end, won or lost.

    Imagine drawing up a job description for the post. Surely it would include factors like:

    1. Are they a brilliant motivator?
    2. Are they a skilled and proven tactician?
    3. Are they noted for calmness under pressure and leadership abilities akin to the CEO of a multinational corporation?

    As opposed to:

    4. Are they a player who won a bit, a decade ago?
    5. Are they not too young (so as to be too chummy with the 20-somethings who'll be out on the course) or too old (so as to be too out of touch with with the 20-somethnigs who'll be out on the course)?

    Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal appear to be the favourites for Europe's 2010 captaincy, to be announced today, with the "loser" a shoe-in to be given the captaincy for 2012 (which, I think, in a fit of compromise, the PGA might actually announce today as well).

    I'm convinced Monty would do a good job, especially if he thinks to himself (in those crucial 18th-hole moments) "What would I have done here?" and advises Rory McIlroy or whoever to do the precise opposite, such was his own record of stuffing up big chances under pressure as a player.

    But the number 4 bit still baffles me a little. How will we ever know if a Paul Broadhurst or an Eamonn Darcy wouldn't have actually made a brilliant captain, just because they were never world top-20 material
    as players? It's a bit like saying you can only be manager of a football club if you used to be the club captain as a player, which is an idea football realised was bobbins a couple of decades ago.

    The curious case of the Ryder Cup captaincy

    It's Monty.


      The curious case of the Ryder Cup captaincy

      Rogin the Armchair Fan wrote:

      Are they noted for...leadership abilities akin to the CEO of a multinational corporation?

      Would that be a good thing?