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out of running ‘Playing is my priority right now’ – Graeme McDowell rules himself out of 2023 Ryder Cup captaincy

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Graeme McDowell. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Graeme McDowell. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Graeme McDowell. Image credit: Sportsfile.

Graeme McDowell has joined the growing list of players to rule themselves out of the running for the 2023 Ryder Cup captaincy in Rome.

With Henrik Stenson undecided and Lee Westwood and Justin Rose determined to play again, McDowell (42) reckons he’s too young to think about becoming skipper just yet

“I think playing is my priority right now,” McDowell said ahead of the QBE Shootout in Florida.

“I really don’t think I would have the time or the ability to give the captaincy 110 per cent right now.

“It goes without saying that I would love the opportunity to be Ryder Cup captain one day for Team Europe but I just don’t think it’s the right time right now.”

McDowell played in four Ryder Cups between 2008 and 2014, winning three, but has been forced to take a vice-captain’s role for the last two editions.

“I think I am a little young and I have things that I want to achieve personally in my golf career,” said Europe’s match-winning hero at Celtic Manor in 2010.

"And you know, I still believe I can play in the team. It’s a difficult one but [captaincy is] certainly something I want to do in the future.”

Luke Donald, who has received the backing of Rory McIlroy, remains the favourite to do the job in Rome with McDowell a potential captain at Adare Manor in 2027.

As for his season, McDowell believes he’s turned the corner after taking two months off in summer to get fit again after undergoing treatment for an injured forearm.

“It’s been a disappointing 18 months,” said McDowell, who has fallen from 49th in the world in July last year to 308th this week.

“There have been a few flurries of good golf but the injury was a little bit of a setback and it affected the way I played in the spring and I really had to force myself in the summer to shut it down and take a couple of months off and do some PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) and rehab and get myself back physically fit again.

“I feel like the last quarter of this year I have showed some signs and I’m moving into this little short off-season I’ve got it with some confidence and some momentum I’m looking forward to coming out in the new year ready to go.”

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