• Miguel Angel Jimenez has thrown his hat in the ring.
• Five-man panel will decide the 2016 skipper.
• Identity of new captain expected in January 2015.
RYDER CUP 2016
Paul Lawrie has become the latest player to publicly back Darren Clarke to lead Europe into the 2016 Ryder Cup.
The 45-year-old took to Twitter to throw his weight behind his fellow former Open champion’s bid to succeed Paul McGinley for the match at Hazeltine in two years’ time.
Lawrie’s tweet came barely 24 hours after Miguel Angel Jimenez officially threw his hat into the ring for the job. The Spaniard, a veteran of four Ryder Cups as a player and a further two as an assistant, told reporters at this week’s Hong Kong Open that he would ‘love to be captain’.
“Clarke for me.” - Paul Lawrie
“That is something that every player who competes in the Ryder Cup wants to do," said Jimenez, the oldest man ever to win on the European Tour. "I will put my name out there and hope the committee decides that it's going to be myself."
However, responding to a tweet from a follower who asked him whether he’d pick Clarke or Jimenez for the role, 1999 Open champion Lawrie replied: “Clarke for me.”
Despite Jimenez expressing his desire to be considered for the role, Northern Irishman Clarke is heavily fancied to get the nod.
As well as Lawrie, he has also had support from fellow countryman and world No.1 Rory McIlroy and ISM stablemate Lee Westwood.
The 46-year-old has made no secret of his wish to land the job. Writing in his column in The Sun, he said: “Do I want the captaincy? Hell yes. Who wouldn't?”
Lawrie, right, with assistant captain Clarke during the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah.
Miguel Angel Jimenez celebrates Europe's win at Gleneagles this year, where he was an assistant.
Ultimately, the decision on who will try to lead Europe to a fourth successive win next year will be made by a five-man panel, comprising European Tour chief executive George O’Grady, two-time Ryder Cup player David Howell, and the last three European captains: Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie.
Should Jimenez get the job, he would become only the fourth Continental European to lead the side, following compatriots Seve Ballesteros (1997) and Olazabal (2012), as well as Germany’s Bernhard Langer (2004).
A decision is expected in January.
Paul Lawrie has had his say... now have yours!
Two-time Ryder Cup player Paul Lawrie has backed Darren Clarke to lead Europe into the 2016 match at Hazeltine - but who do you think should get the job? Vote in our poll now...