Luke Donald has declared his interest in becoming Europe's next Ryder Cup captain.
As we reported yesterday, the Englishman has emerged as the frontrunner for the role and could be appointed by the end of this month.
Donald, 44, has jumped to the top of the queue following Lee Westwood’s decision to withdraw himself from consideration and amid uncertainty over Henrik Stenson’s own intentions.
The 2021 skipper Padraig Harrington – part of a five-person committee who will choose the next captain – told reporters in Abu Dhabi this week that Donald has the necessary credentials him for the 2023 match in Rome, adding that he would ‘thoroughly recommend him’.
Donald is currently in California where is playing in this week’s American Express tournament at La Quinta.
After his third round, he was asked if he was aware of reports that he is in the frame to lead the side.
“My brother-in-law sent [the story] to me thing morning and I saw it when I woke up,” said Donald. “Obviously, I’m very humbled by Paddy's comments. I would love to have the opportunity to do that.
"I haven't spoken to anyone at the European Tour, so nothing has been confirmed, I don't know where I stand with that, but I've had great experiences with the Ryder Cup.
“If I was given the opportunity I would dearly love it and be very grateful and honoured to take it up.”
Judging by a Twitter poll we carried out yesterday, it seems as though the vast majority of bunkered followers are in favour of the 44-year-old getting the nod:
Would you back Luke Donald to be the European Ryder Cup captain in 2023?— bunkered (@BunkeredOnline) January 22, 2022
A seven-time winner on the DP World Tour, Donald has played in the Ryder Cup on four occasions, most recently the 2012 ‘Miracle at Medinah’. As a player he has never been on the losing side.
He has also served as a vice-captain to the two most recent skippers, Thomas Bjorn in 2018 and Padraig Harrington last year.
He added: “I've been a part of six Ryder Cups and I've made plenty of notes during those times, stuff that I thought looked good, stuff that I've learned from our other captains, other vice captains, just knowledge that I think is going to help me if I do ever do get that opportunity one day to be a captain.
"I'm kind of a detailed-oriented guy. I like to write things down. That’s how I practiced I always put full effort into everything I do.
“I know there's a worthy list of people who could do this job and be the next Ryder Cup captain, but it's nice to have my name up there.”