Paul McGinley will be at the centre of the Ryder Cup captaincy debate in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday
But the Dubliner is unlikely to emerge as a compromise candidate for the captain’s armband at Celtic Manor in 2010.
The Players Committee will sit down to debate who’ll take over from Nick Faldo in Wales next year with Jose Maria Olazabal, Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam and Sam Torrance set to dominate the agenda.
Spanish ace Jose Maria Olazabal, 42, is the top choice among the players but insists he wants to battle for his eighth cap instead.
Determined to learn from Europe's shock Royal Trophy defeat to Asia, Olazabal said: “I would love to be playing - if these guys allow me. I think maybe it is too soon (to be captain) but time will tell.
“I would love to be considered, I'm not going to deny that. I've never denied that being captain of the Ryder Cup is something really special, it's a privilege, but it's always been like that.”
McGinley, also 42, ruled himself out of the running last year when he insisted that he wants to make the side for the fourth time after missing out in 2008.
But as a member of the Players Committee he’ll be at the centre of a debate that has overshadowed the build up to a star-studded $2m tournament.
Padraig Harrington and arch-rival Sergio Garcia will be bidding to close the gap on Tiger Woods at the top of the world rankings as they headline a top class field.
McGinley will be hoping to bounce back from a disastrous Royal Trophy performance, where he lost all three of his matches and was hammered 5 and 4 by Thongchai Jaidee in the singles.
Teen idol Rory McIlroy, 19, also returns to action for the start of the Desert Swing alongside Harrington, McGinley, Peter Lawrie, Damien McGrane and Gary Murphy.
Rookies Gareth Maybin and Jonny Caldwell failed to make the select 120-man field while Graeme McDowell will return to action in Dubai in two weeks' time.