It’s decision time on the European Tour.
On Tuesday, the Tournament Committee meets in Abu Dhabi to decide the Ryder Cup captain for Gleneagles next year.
We need to show a united front, end all the speculation and have a unanimous decision on who that will be.
Colin Montgomerie’s name has cropped up a lot in recent weeks but I don’t see him as a realistic contender.
A lot of that seems to have stemmed from the appointment of Tom Watson as US captain. But, remember, they’ve lost five of the last six Ryder Cups, so they needed drastic action.
Our system has been working, so why should we change?
I was lucky enough to be captain three times, but those were different times and we have more candidates to choose from nowadays. Monty has done it once and was a winning captain at Celtic Manor, so the book should be closed on his captaincy.
Other people deserve a chance to lead the team, and we have two strong contenders in Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke.
Paul is an excellent candidate. He’s articulate and the right sort of age, he’s twice been a vice-captain and has twice captained a winning team in the Seve Trophy.
He played in the Ryder Cup three times and won it every time, and he even holed the winning putt in 2002 at The Belfry, so he knows what’s required.
Darren surprised everyone when he came back from Medinah and said that he couldn’t turn the job down if he was asked.
He was effectively throwing his hat into the ring there and then.
But this could be Darren’s last serious effort to make the team as a player, where he could bring vital experience to the side.
The Tournament Committee should think about the job for Gleneagles, and at Whistling Straits in the States in 2016.
We did that in 2005 when Ian Woosnam and Sir Nick Faldo were appointed for 2006 and 2008 respectively. They were two such big figures in European golf, that it would have been unfair to leave things up in the air for one of them.
It’s a similar scenario this time, and Paul and Darren could easily be our next two captains. Hopefully the right decision will be reached so we can concentrate on a great golf tournament.
n THE Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is effectively the beginning of the European season and what a way to start.
The world’s top two players, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, going head-to-head on a great golf course, in an event that could shape the golfing year. Rory will be using his new Nike clubs for the first time but that won’t hinder him too much.
With 14 Majors to his name, Tiger doesn’t need to prove anything but he loves to compete.
Woods carries the intimidation factor, and most players still think he’s the man to beat in any tournament.
Even Rory will be thinking that when they tee up on Thursday.