ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - Scotland’s Paul Lawrie says he wants to play in the 2014 Ryder Cup and not captain Europe in the match against the United States in his home country at Gleneagles.
The 1999 British Open champion, who helped set up Europe’s extraordinary comeback victory at Medinah on Sunday with a 5&3 demolition of FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker in the fifth singles match, will be 45 in two years time.
Lawrie has won twice on the European Tour in 2012, however, helping secure a berth in the biennial matchplay event.
Buoyed by regaining his confidence since ending a nine-year winless streak in 2011, the Scot wants another go in the Ryder Cup.
“I don’t see that in two years time I will be any less competitive than I am now. I would like to think that I would be even more competitive and a better player,” the world number 28 told reporters ahead of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
”I am certainly going to be in all the top events for the next little while, so if I keep the performances up that I have had I am going to have a fair chance of getting in that team.
“If I don’t it certainly won’t be for the lack of trying. To play in your home country in a Ryder Cup would be pretty special, so I will still be trying my hardest.”
Lawrie’s name has also been thrown into the hat as a potential successor to captain Jose Maria Olazabal, 46, after the Spaniard said he would not consider leading the team again.
The other strong candidates are Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, 44, and 45-year-old Irishman Paul McGinley, both of whom have played in the Ryder Cup and served as vice-captains for Olazabal in Chicago.
The European Tour’s tournament committee will name the Gleneagles captain after a meeting in Abu Dhabi in January.
“I would like to think that the committee would know I want to play in that team,” said Lawrie, adding that the captaincy had enormous appeal.
“But if they do offer it to me, which I don’t think they will, then that would be a huge decision I would have to make. Not many people would knock it back.”
Editing by Tom Pilcher