Justin Rose believes the 2025 Ryder Cup will come too early for him to consider the Team Europe captaincy and instead has hinted that Luke Donald should retain the role.
Speaking to The Telegraph at this week’s Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship in Portugal, the 43-year-old acknowledged the daunting task the Europeans face on US soil in two years and explained he hopes to help the team overcome it as a player.
He said: “We all recognise how difficult it is to win away nowadays, and whichever captain does it can claim the ultimate Ryder Cup success. But if it happens in 2025, I want to contribute as a player. If Luke wants it, he should get it.”
There is plenty of evidence that Rose is far from a spent force as a player. As well as securing 1.5 points from his three matches at Marco Simone, he is also 37th in the world rankings, helped by a season that has included one win, in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, among five top-10 finishes.
Rose explained that having to prepare for the Bethpage Black contest as captain could affect his form: “2025 is too early for me,” he said. “The captaincy starts next year, and I feel like I’ve got some good things ahead of me as a player. It’s not so much that I feel I ‘need’ to play at Bethpage, it’s more than I ‘need’ to believe I can play.
"That’s important. If you look at Luke, he sacrificed a lot this year and last year, because his game was coming back but he had to concentrate on the Ryder Cup.”
Donald accepted the role when Henrik Stenson was stripped of the captaincy after joining LIV Golf, and Rose thinks that the captaincy probably came too soon for the former World No.1, despite leading the team to success. He said: “In truth, it probably came too early for him but because of the circumstances he probably thought he should do it."
Rose also thinks Donald is only now approaching the ideal time to captain the team. "You have to be current, can’t have stopped playing, because that link has to be there. So it’s a fine line," he said. "But in my view Luke is probably coming to that sweet spot right now.”
Rose also believes Donald’s calm demeanour can work in Team Europe’s favour in the highly charged atmosphere of a US match. He continued: “We always thought that Poults [Ian Poulter] would have the gumption to go there and front down the crowd, but think about it, Luke’s quiet demeanour could be the answer, diffusing the situation rather than antagonising it.”
The last person to captain successive European Ryder Cup teams was Bernard Gallacher, who performed the task three times between 1991 and 1995, and Rose believes it could be time to revisit that approach.
He said: “Luke did a fine, fine job in Rome and I’ve always thought it a little crazy that we have these guys who do great as captain, gather all this experience and knowledge – and then someone else comes in and has to learn how to do it himself. No other sport would do that, in such a big competition, would it?
"Sure, we have this neat tradition where the learnings are passed on, but each captain is different and has his own mark. Luke certainly had his. He didn’t put a foot wrong.”