Europe could name two Ryder Cup captains at once, says Montgomerie

Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley
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Darren Clarke (l) and Paul McGinley are widely considered to be the leading contenders to be named European Ryder Cup captain.
PA Sport

Series: Ryder Cup

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 | 1:22 p.m.

LONDON -- The decision on who leads Europe at the next Ryder Cup -- against 65-year-old Tom Watson, of course -- might not be made in Abu Dhabi next month as expected.

Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are generally considered to be the two leading contenders vying for the position, but European Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady said the Tournament Committee vote would "not necessarily" happen at its next meeting before the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

Although Clarke is narrowly ahead in the betting, there are many -- world No. 1 Rory McIlroy included -- who would prefer to see McGinley given the job in Scotland and then Clarke take over for the 2016 match in America.

"It will be a very interesting debate and I will listen to it," said Colin Montgomerie, the European captain at Celtic Manor in 2012 and a committee member.

Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo were named for the 2008 and 2010 matches at the same time, and Montgomerie said that could happen again.

"There is an opportunity to do two at one time again," he said. "Both (Clarke and McGinley) are respected in the game and great candidates.

"The fact that Tom Watson has been made America's captain should not color our judgment," he said. "We should have only one criteria -- picking the best man for the job."