x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Langer hoping for return

Bernhard Langer has refused to distance himself from a possible return as Europe's Ryder Cup captain but insisted he would only take the position if he were asked.

Germany's Bernhard Langer had led the Europeans to a nine-point rout of the United States in the Ryder Cup four years ago.
Germany's Bernhard Langer had led the Europeans to a nine-point rout of the United States in the Ryder Cup four years ago.

HONG KONG // Bernhard Langer has refused to distance himself from a possible return as Europe's Ryder Cup captain but insisted he would only take the position if he were asked. The German led Europe to a nine-point rout of the United States four years ago and received wide acclaim for the feat. Conversely, Nick Faldo came in for heavy criticism after Europe slumped to their worst defeat in 27 years in September and is unlikely to remain in the position.

Jose Maria Olazabal is regarded as the favourite to take over the captaincy but even though he has spoken to Thomas Bjorn, chairman of the Tournament Players Committee, the Spaniard has yet to give a definite answer. When asked whether he would like to return as captain, Langer said: "It depends. I haven't been asked and I think there are a lot of other guys who would like to be captain and have the chance.

"It is not what I want, it is who the committee decides and that is the right way. "We learned a lesson a few years ago when three or four were asking [to be captain] and you had a winner and loser. "So we decided at that time it is not who is asking that gets the job but who the [tournament] committee determines will make the best job. That is the best way to go about it." Langer, 51, is making a rare appearance on the European Tour as he joins fellow major winners Faldo, John Daly and Olazabal at the Hong Kong Open this week.

Langer, who won the tournament in 1991, has been playing well this year having finished top of the US Champions Tour Money List and winning the Casa Serena Open in his debut season on the Senior Tour. "I have been healthy these last couple of years and playing good golf," Langer said. "I am very happy with my season. "I had a very good year, the season before and this year as well. It is brilliant to be with the 'old boys' as we call them.

"The Champions Tour suits me very well. There are lots of guys my age and we can relate to each other, we are at the same stage in life. We play courses which are very good, a little shorter than the regular tour, but in a very good condition. "We realise we are only going to be playing this game for a few more years and therefore enjoying it more." * PA Sport