Sandy is still game for Ryder role

Former US Masters and Open champion Sandy Lyle refuses to give up on his dream of captaining Europe's Ryder Cup team.

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The 54-year-old Scot was linked to the post once more after discovering he was in the frame to lead the team in 2014.

Players' Committee chairman Thomas Bjorn phoned Lyle to tell him he was one of five candidates discussed before Paul McGinley was selected.

"At least I'm still being considered because two years ago I thought I was regarded as too old," said Lyle.

"They never told me I was under consideration for the captaincy. It was only when I got a phone call from Thomas the night they made their decision that I knew.

"They seem to have deleted the unwritten rule that says when you reach 50 it is the end of your Ryder Cup chances."

Lyle believes the selection of veteran Tom Watson as US captain means age is no longer viewed as a barrier to the role of skipper.

He said: "Tom will be 65 in 2014. Maybe I could be considered now for a Ryder Cup in the States, especially with my experience of playing over there."

However the Scot, who won the US Masters in 1988, will not be actively lobbying for the role.

He added: "If they want me it'll be most welcome, but I'm not going to lose any sleep if they don't."

But the five-time Ryder Cup player admitted McGinley faced an awkward task because of Watson's popularity in Scotland, where he won four of his eight majors.

"Tom is almost an icon in Scotland," explained Lyle. "He is well-liked there and it's going to be awkward for McGinley because he has a lot to live up to.

"It'll test him to his limits. When you mention Tom Watson he gets a lot of respect, he's like Lee Trevino or Jack Nicklaus.

"When it comes to the war of words and the way the speeches go, that's an important thing.

"McGinley needs to get the crowd to rise to the occasion and get the players going.

However, Lyle is convinced that McGinley's experience at captaining team events was a positive factor in his appointment as Ryder Cup skipper, with the Scot left in no doubt that he's the right man for the job.

"McGinley has a lot of experience of team events having played in the Ryder Cup and been a Seve Trophy captain and Ryder Cup vice-captain," he said. "He's a good choice and he'll do a good job."

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