Graeme McDowell happy to wait his turn to captain Europe in Ryder Cup

Europe Vice-captain Graeme McDowell
Europe Vice-captain Graeme McDowell

Ryder Cup vice-captain Graeme McDowell admits he wants the main job in the future but accepts there is a log-jam of players queuing up ahead of him.

The Northern Irishman was one of Thomas Bjorn’s five assistants, along with Robert Karlsson, Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, for the victory at Le Golf National.

McDowell is still an active player and knows he has a few years before he will be ready for captaincy, especially as there are a number of contenders for the upcoming events, starting at Whistling Straits in two years’ time.

“We’ve got a little bit of a log-jam of candidates coming up here, of which I am going to be one in the next 10 years,” the 2010 US Open champion said.

“When you look at guys like Westwood, (Sergio) Garcia, (Ian) Poulter, Donald, myself and Harrington there are a lot of great players who are going to have an opportunity to captain a team.

“I’d love to do it myself but I’m probably 10 years out but it was great to be part of it this week, I really enjoyed it.”

McDowell learned plenty from watching how Bjorn operated in Paris.

The Dane engineered an all-inclusive, laid-back environment in which the team flourished.

“Thomas went with the less-is-more. He did some really great motivational video work for the guys but he didn’t ‘over-captain’,” added the Northern Irishman.

“He let the guys bond with each other, and it was great to have input here and there with Westy, Padraig, Luke and Robert, and obviously the more experienced guys in the team like Poults and Sergio.

“It was great to have our input at times but Thomas was polished. He was organised, he was calm, he was collected, it was a really good formula.”

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy wants fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington to captain Europe at the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

Harrington was one of Bjorn’s five vice-captains in the successful team at the weekend.

“I’ve always thought Padraig would be a good captain in the United States,” McIlroy said.

“He’s won a lot of golf tournaments over there, he’s won a PGA Championship.

“I think the continuity in the European camp having all these vice-captains this year and preparing for captaincy down the road has been a huge foundation of why we’ve been so good.

“No matter who the captain is next time they’ll be ready and I’m sure they will do a great job.”

Harrington, 47, is a three-time major champion - having won two Open Championships and one US PGA title - and played in six Ryder Cups between 1999 and 2010.