Howell joins Ryder Cup panel


Published: Wednesday 8th October 2014 by The News Editor

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England’s David Howell has been named as the final member of the selection panel to choose Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain.

The Englishman, who was a member of the victorious European team in 2004 and 2006, was nominated by the European Tour’s Tournament Committee at their meeting on Tuesday night ahead of this week’s Portugal Masters.

Howell joins the three previous European Ryder Cup captains Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie and European Tour chief executive George O’Grady on the five-man panel.

His appointment raises the prospect of Thomas Bjorn, who made a third victorious Ryder Cup appearance at Gleneagles last month having been vice-captain three times, entering the running to be captain at Hazeltine in 2016.

The Dane, as chairman of the Tour Committee, was widely expected to be on the panel but should he decide to throw his name into the reckoning he faces stiff competition.

Northern Irishman Darren Clarke is the early favourite and has the backing of heavyweights like world number one Rory McIlroy, nine-time Ryder Cup star Lee Westwood and two-time major winner Martin Kaymer.

Kaymer, however, said last week the reason behind his thinking was that 2016 was too early for the 43-year-old Bjorn as he was playing too well.

The growing campaign behind Clarke also saw Graeme McDowell call for McGinley to put aside differences with the Ulsterman after their friendship cooled when Clarke supported Montgomerie for the Gleneagles captaincy.

European Tour veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez, vice-captain for the last two Ryder Cups, is also a contender and would have the backing of the miracle of Medinah mastermind Olazabal.

It is expected a decision on the 2016 captain will be made early next year.

Published: Wednesday 8th October 2014 by The News Editor

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