Is this the right man to lead Europe?
Graeme McDowell backs Padraig Harrington for captain in France in 2018
Graeme McDowell has backed Padraig Harrington to be the next skipper of the European team, though he believes there will be three other candidates vying to be selected for the Ryder Cup in 2018.
The Northern Irishman did not play in the 17-11 loss at Hazeltine, but certainly knows what it takes to emerge victorious having triumphed in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
And the 2010 US Open champion feels as though Harrington is the leading candidate to lead the team in Paris given his impressive record as a player.
“You’ve got to be looking at Harrington, [Thomas] Bjorn, [Paul] Lawrie – who has thrown his hat into the ring and has been given the resounding recommendation of Sam Torrance – and probably [Miguel Angel] Jimenez.
“I think Lee Westwood probably has one or two more Ryder Cups left in him, so I look at one of those other four guys.
“Harrington certainly has the right playing credentials. It would be the third Irishman in a row, so if you guys are sick of having Irish captains you might want to have a year off.
“But any of those four would be phenomenal. It’s not as though anything needs to change.
“Our template on how to win Ryder Cups remains solid. They just ran into the better team last week and there was nothing they could do about it.
“You had a US team that was hungry, fired up on home soil and the stars aligned – just one of those things.”
Meanwhile, four-time captain Tony Jacklin believes the European Tour must change their rules ahead of 2018.
“The likes of [Paul] Casey and [Russell] Knox should have been in the team,” he said. “Future captains need to have the 12 best players at their disposal. We need to look at the system.
“Having to be a member of the Tour in the modern-day game is a bit confining.”
Casey was not available for selection as he was not a member of the European Tour.