Tom Lehman wants Americans who are winning on his Ryder Cup team, even if that means him.
Lehman was introduced Wednesday as the U.S. captain for the 2006 matches in Ireland, charged with ending European dominance that soared to a new level this year when the Americans were dealt their worst loss ever.
"The Ryder Cup to me is the ultimate golf experience," Lehman said. "Including my British Open victory, my greatest moment in golf was being part of the Ryder Cup team. To be part of this next team, this is a thrill beyond belief."
Lehman loves the Ryder Cup so much that he wouldn't rule himself out as a player.
Arnold Palmer was the last playing captain in the Ryder Cup, at East Lake in 1963. Tom Kite came close to making the team in 1997, and some thought he should have made himself a captain's pick.
Lehman did not rule out removing himself as captain if he won enough to play his way onto the team.
"I'm looking for guys on top of their game, and winning is a big thing," Lehman said at a news conference in Amelia Island, Fla. "If I was winning, it would be unfair for me not to play. That said, what are the chances? Probably pretty slim."
The PGA Tour, meanwhile, is at Atlanta's East Lake Club for the Tour Championship, which begins today.
Nick Faldo and Paul Azinger, who haven't seen much of each other since their spirited match in the '93 Ryder Cup ended in a draw, will be side-by-side in their new roles as golf analysts for ABC Sports alongside Mike Tirico.