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Woosnam suggests dual Ryder Captain role

Ian Woosnam says he will put himself forward as a candidate for Europe's 2004 Ryder Cup captaincy after being encouraged by the outgoing skipper Sam Torrance.

But the 44-year-old Welshman has also suggested that he and Germany's Bernhard Langer, another strong candidate, could share the role as both men are keen to give themselves a chance to play in the European team at Oakland Hills in Michigan.

"It's a pretty hard situation because Bernhard and I want to try to make the team," said Woosnam, after firing an opening round of one-under-par 70 in the Lancome Trophy in Versailles.

"If I was offered the captaincy, I definitely would want a strong vice-captain who could take over the job if I made the team.

"It is not possible to captain and play, and that is not an option in my book because there is too much going on behind the scenes and too many things for the captain to do to play as well.

"An agreement with Bernhard might be a good solution. Then if I made, it he could take over as captain if he didn't -- and the other way round.

"Then the other one would be captain in 2006 in Ireland."

Woosnam dismissed the thought of an Irishman, such as Des Smyth or Christy O'Connor junior, being offered the job for 2006 as both would be focusing on the European Seniors' Tour by then.

"Looking at the Irish situation, there are not enough players young enough to do the job in Ireland -- other than Darren Clarke -- who is too young to be considered," said Woosnam.

"I look upon myself, Bernhard Langer and Nick Faldo as doing the next two or three captaincies."

Woosnam had favored captaining Europe at the 2010 Ryder Cup when the match will be staged in his home country Wales at Celtic Manor.

But he has since changed his mind, after being reminded by Torrance that he will no longer be playing on the main tour by then and could well lose contact with many of the Ryder Cyp players.

"I realize now that 2010 is too late," said Woosnam, who was vice-captain to Torrance at The Belfry last month when Europe regained the Ryder Cup after beating the United States by 15-1/2 points to 12-1/2.

"I think it's best for me to take my chance as soon as possible, he said.

"I will be nearly 53 when the match goes to Wales and on the seniors tour by then.

"The captain needs to be on the main tour playing week in week out, keeping an eye on the boys and geeing them up. And there is so much to do preparing for the Ryder Cup, it just wouldn't be possible if I wasn't around all the time.

"Whatever happens, the experience I got as vice-captain to Sam will be vital to getting it right when I do the job.


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