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  Monday, 30 September, 2002, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
Who should captain Europe in 2004?
Sam Torrance sprays photographers with champagne
Torrance celebrates Europe's win at the Belfry

Barely have the hangovers from Sunday night's celebrations passed, before the Ryder Cup focus moves on.

Sam Torrance's captaincy of the European team was an unbridled success, from his dignified attitude in the build-up to the Belfry to his inspired tactics in Sunday's singles matches.

But who should be handed the task of leading Europe when they attempt to retain the Cup at Michigan's Oakland Hills in two years time?


Sam Torrance

Could the 49-year-old Scot be persuaded to do the job again?

Tony Jacklin led Europe four times and Bernard Gallacher three, but since then Seve Ballesteros and Mark James have both stood down after one match.

The signs are that Torrance will do the same.

"A few of the players asked me last night - but they were drunk!" he said on Monday.

"This is not the time to decide. I'm not saying 'no' yet, but I think it's somebody else's turn."

Torrance becomes eligible for Seniors golf on his 50th birthday next August, and the challenge of getting his game in shape for that may swing him away from a Ryder return.


Nick Faldo

Faldo has the best record of any player in Ryder history.

Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam in Ryder Cup action in 1991
Faldo and Woosnam in Ryder Cup partnership in 1991
In the eleven consecutive Cups he played in between 1977 and 1997, he picked up a staggering 25 points, with 23 match wins and four halves.

He understands the competition intimately and is at the ideal point in his playing career to welcome the fresh challenge of captaining Europe.

Faldo had a reputation as an individual who was not always easy to get on with.

But since his private life settled down and his game began to come back together, the more personable side of his character has shone through - and he is probably the outright favourite to follow in Torrance's footsteps.


Bernhard Langer

Langer was once again in wondrous form at the Belfry, celebrating his 10th Ryder appearance by going through the three days unbeaten.

Bernhard Langer doffs his cap to the Belfry crowd
Langer's Ryder record is second to only Faldo's
He is also now the most successful foursomes players in Cup history - but his playing form may mean that he has to wait until 2006 or beyond to captain the European team.

Torrance says: "The way he played was quite unbelievable, and I am certain he will be captain - but when, I don't know.

"He will make a fantastic captain. He has great qualities in many ways, but I think he's probably got another match left in him."


Ian Woosnam

The pugnacious Welshman was one of Torrance's three vice-captains at the Belfry.

His record as a player was excellent - 16 points and 14 match wins over 16 years from 1983 - and his up-and-at-'em attitude could be just what Europe need at Oakland Hills.

He may be a little rough and ready for some of the committee men, but if they decide that they want a man to lead with passion from the front, Woosnam would be their man.


Jose Maria Olazabal

Olazabal missed out to Sergio Garcia and Jesper Parnevik in the battle for the captain's two picks for this year's team, but his Ryder pedigree is up there with the best.

He had 15 wins and only eight defeats as a player, including that staggering four and a half point haul at the Belfry in 1989.

But he turned down an invitation from Torrance to be a vice-captain this time around and instead watched the contest on television at home.

That decision - and the fact that he may well make the team as a player once again in two year's time - will count against his immediate captaincy chances.


Colin Montgomerie

Montgomerie is a Ryder star through and through, a man who reserves his best performances for the Cup.

His points haul over the weekend from his five matches matched Olazabal's in 1989 and he was Europe's de facto leader on the fairways and greens.

Monty has already expressed an interest in captaining his side - but he is prepared to wait until 2006 and the contest at Ireland's K Club for his chance.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
2002 captain Sam Torrance
"It's not my choice"
 VOTE RESULTS
Who was the star for Europe at The Belfry?

Paul McGinley
 7.00% 

Colin Montgomerie
 67.65% 

Phillip Price
 11.44% 

Sam Torrance
 13.91% 

28937 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
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