Ryder Cup captaincy snub vexes Miguel Angel Jimenez

Miguel Angel Jimenez has expressed his disappointment at missing out on the Ryder Cup captaincy for 2016 and hinted his chance may have gone.

Ryder Cup captaincy snub vexes Miguel Angel Jimenez

Darren Clarke was the unanimous choice of the five-man selection panel when they met at Wentworth on Wednesday, chosen ahead of Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn.

European Tour chief executive George O’Grady, who was on the panel, said Jimenez and Bjorn are viable candidates in the future, but Jimenez will be well outside the age profile for recent European captains by the time of the 2018 contest.

Clarke will be 48 at Hazeltine next year, while Paul McGinley was 47 at Gleneagles and Jose Maria Olazabal 46 at Medinah. Jimenez will be 54 at Paris National, while Bjorn will be 47. Pádraig Harrington and Lee Westwood could also be 2018 candidates.

“I am very happy for Darren,” Jimenez said after his opening round in the Hero Indian Open. “He deserves to be the Ryder Cup captain as much as I do. I would love to do it one day but I am happy for Darren because he has done a lot for the Tour as well. I sent him a text last night just to say well done and that I know he’ll do a great job. I didn’t call him because I knew he would be busy but I wanted to say well done and that if he needs anything from me when he is captain then all he has to do is call me.

“To me the Ryder Cup is important and I will always want to be involved in it. I suppose the best way for me to be involved is by taking my clubs. You never know – maybe you will see me at the next one with my clubs.”

Jimenez added: “It’s disappointing a little bit. (I’ve) been there for so many years on Tour, this is my 27th season, played several Ryder Cups and been vice-captain in some other ones.

“I make a lot from the Tour all these years and I think it’s a little disappointing not to be captain, but I feel happy on the other hand for Darren because Darren will do a very good job.”

Meanhile Harrington has questioned the decision to appoint Davis Love as American Ryder Cup captain for a second time. According to reports in the US, Love will be confirmed as captain for the 2016 contest at Hazeltine next week, despite seeing his side squander a 10-4 lead at Medinah.

“It’s interesting, it looks like they (the PGA of America) have chosen a friend — I’m surprised they didn’t go back to Paul Azinger. I know Davis did a great job but it does look like they’ve gone for the guy they like... I’m not saying they don’t like Paul Azinger but maybe Paul turned it down.

“He (Love) was a good captain but when you let the inmates run the asylum sometimes that’s what they come up with.”

* Prize money for the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, will total €5m in 2015, an increase of 250,000 from last year. This year’s event takes place from May 21-24.

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