Miguel Ángel Jiménez admits he could be one of Paul McGinley’s rivals for the 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy.
The man from Malaga, 48, knows that Gleneagles will represent his last chance to lead Europe into battle against the Americans. And while he’s aware that McGinley is the hot favourite with the bookies, he’s certainly not ruling himself out of the running for the job.
Speaking ahead of the Spanish Open in Seville, he played down the issue when speaking to Ten-Golf.es: “I’ve heard absolutely nothing about the 2014 captaincy and haven’t considered it, but of course I’d be delighted to get it.”
On McGinley, he said: “I know his name has been strongly mentioned. My name? Well, many names are mentioned every time and maybe mine is one of them.
“It would mean a huge amount to me and there’s still a long way to go before it’s decided.”
It appears that there is a new unwritten rule at the European Tour regarding the maximum age of Ryder Cup captains.
Current skipper Jose Maria Olazábal confirmed as much when asked if he’d accept a second captaincy by the Spanish media recently.
“No, I wouldn’t out of respect for all the people waiting on the list,” Olazábal said. “There are a lot of candidates and only a few Ryder Cups available and all of them deserve the chance to be captain in a Ryder Cup.
“Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke, Thomas Björn, Lee Westwood, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Paul Lawrie… Most of them are more than 40 years old and I don’t see a Ryder Cup captain with more than 50 years old.”
Jiménez would be 50 in January 2014 and with Clarke apparently a racing certainty to lead Europe at Hazeltine National in Minnesota in 2016, Gleneagles would represent his last realistic chance of landing the job.