Have Donald's chances of being Ryder Cup captain gone?

At the start of this year Luke Donald looked like being the frontrunner to be Europe's Ryder Cup captain in Italy next year.

But, following the news that Henrik Stenson will be the first Swede to lead Europe, it seems that the Englishman's chances might have disappeared.

Donald, who was endorsed by Padraig Harrrington in the process, reportedly made a half-hour pitch to the committee (the last three captains, Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn and Padraig Harrington, along with David Howell and the tour's CEO Keith Pelley) but it wasn't to be for the player who has played four and won four in the competition.

“I thought I had a good chance this year. Hopefully, that’s not my chance gone,” Donald told Golfweek. “We have a lot of very worthy candidates, legends of the Ryder Cup, guys like Sergio [Garcia], I don’t know how this whole Saudi thing is going to play out and if anyone is going to get knocked out because of that. That’s a little bit of a question mark.”

There remains a possibility that the likes of Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood will be part of the new Saudi league but that also leaves the likes of Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Justin Rose in the mix for Bethpage Black in 2025 and beyond.

The news also looks to put a line through Paul Lawrie's chances which, again, seems harsh for a major champion who has done more for the game in Europe than many.

As for Bethpage Donald would love the chance to skipper Europe on American soil.

“It’s a tough crowd (at Bethpage), but I haven’t given them too much ammo during my career. I think I’d be fine and would love the opportunity.”