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Rory McIlroy believes there are a number of candidates to succeed Darren Clarke as European Ryder Cup captain but is worried a third Irish skipper in a row would unsettle the team.
The new captain will be decided by a five-man selection committee - Clarke, past captains Paul McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabal, European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and a member of the European Tour tournament committee - with a decision expected before Christmas.
In recent years the captain has served as a vice-captain before taking on the lead role, which means such Padraig Harrington, Thomas Bjorn and Paul Lawrie are likely to be considered for the 2018 captaincy.
While he feels any one of them would make a good captain, McIlroy admits a third successive Irish skipper might not sit well with the rest of Europe.
"It depends on who feels they are ready for it," McIlroy said. "I don't know. You have got someone like Lee Westwood, you've got Thomas Bjorn, you've got Padraig obviously.
"He might be trying to go for it, that would be three Irish captains in a row, I don't know how that would feel.
“I think the culture of the European Tour in including everyone in the team (as vice captains) .... because there is so much support around us we obviously need a captain, need a leader, it could be any one of a number of guys."
The US Ryder Cup committee, which included Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, were responsible for selecting Davis Love III and they will once again be tasked with appointing his successor.
Jim Furyk is among the early favourites to lead the United States in Paris as Steve Stricker has been ruled out because he is due to skipper the Presidents Cup team in 2017.
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