Two-time Ryder Cup player David Howell has been named as the fifth and final member of the panel which will select the European Ryder Cup captain for The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minnesota.
The 39 year old Englishman – who played in Europe’s Ryder Cup triumphs in both 2004 and 2006 – was nominated by the European Tour’s Tournament Committee at their meeting on Tuesday night in Portugal to be their representative on the panel which will choose the successor to Paul McGinley, who led Europe to a 16 ½-11 ½ triumph at Gleneagles last month.
Joining Howell on the panel will be the three previous European Ryder Cup Captains, McGinley himself, José María Olazábal and Colin Montgomerie, alongside the Chief Executive of The European Tour, George O’Grady.
This will be the third process used to select The Ryder Cup captain since players from Continental Europe joined the fold for the 1979 contest, under the captaincy of John Jacobs, at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.
From then until 1997, when the late Seve Ballesteros led Europe in his homeland at Club de Golf Valderrama, the European Ryder Cup Captain was chosen by the Ryder Cup Committee, who selected Jacobs again in 1981, Tony Jacklin in 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1989, and Bernard Gallacher in 1991, 1993 and 1995.
However, in 1999, Mark James was the first European captain to be nominated by the European Tour’s Tournament Committee and ratified by the Ryder Cup Board, a process which went on to select Sam Torrance (2002), Bernhard Langer (2004), Ian Woosnam (2006), Sir Nick Faldo (2008), Montgomerie (2010), Olazábal (2012) and McGinley (2014).
It is expected that the decision on the 2016 captain will be made in the early part of 2015.