Lyle: 'Never say no' to Ryder Cup captaincy

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Paired recently on the Champions Tour, Larry Nelson and Sandy Lyle had more in common than being major-championship winners.

They’ve also been bypassed for a Ryder Cup captaincy.

In advance of the 2014 Ryder Cup, however, there has been a groundswell of support for Nelson, now 65, who told Golf Channel in August that he was offered the U.S. Ryder Cup captaincy in 1995, only to see Lanny Wadkins assume the duties.

Sandy Lyle can empathize with that. The Scotsman was a two-time major winner, but he too never captained the European side at the Ryder Cup, despite a prolific individual record in the 1970s and ’80s.

“We’ve both been overlooked on the radar,” Lyle, 54, said Wednesday on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” “We were in the scope there, but it just never materialized.

“Maybe it was timing. But the timing would have been good for Gleneagles in 2014 for me because I live about 40 miles from Gleneagles, being in Scotland, being Scottish. It would have been a nice little venue, but they already have their sights on Darren Clarke or Paul McGinley.

“You never say no, but if the chance arises I will definitely grab the idea with both hands.”

Ironically, Lyle and partner Bernhard Langer twice beat the team of Nelson-Wadkins in the 1987 Ryder Cup at Muirfield Village.

Said Lyle of Nelson, a three-time major winner who has never been the U.S. Ryder Cup captain: “I’m just mystified why he’s been left out.”