ORLANDO, Fla. – The murky European Ryder Cup picture became slightly clearer Thursday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Following an opening 68 at Bay Hill that left him just three shots off the lead, Graeme McDowell was asked his thoughts on the next European Ryder Cup captain.
“I just don't think I'm quite ready,” McDowell said.
Traditionally, the European side has named their next captain by now, but the selection process has been complicated by the Saudi-backed super league, which is reportedly still wooing some of Europe’s top players.
That list of players who might be leaning in the super league’s direction is Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter. All three of those players would also be on any short list of potential Ryder Cup captains.
Because of the super league influence, there had been speculation that Luke Donald was in line to be the next European captain and McDowell seemed to take his own name out of the conversation.
“I kind of have to put my own individual career first, I feel like. I desperately want to get back playing consistently well at a high level again rather than maybe taking my attention away and taking the Ryder Cup captaincy,” he said. “Maybe part of me would be suggesting that I'm not good enough to make the team. Are there 12 better players than me in Europe right now? I've got to ask myself that question. If I'm out here doing what I'm doing, I have to say there's not 12 guys better than me, and I'm good enough to make the team.”
McDowell played alongside Zach Johnson on Day 1 at Bay Hill. Johnson was named the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for next year’s matches on Monday.