Did you know there’s such a thing as World Password Day? No? Well, I don’t blame you. Let’s face it, it’s hard enough trying to keep track of all those infernal passwords you need just to muddle through your daily existence let alone remember that there’s an actual day set aside to celebrate the bloomin’ things.

The reason I bring this up is that I went to log-in to my online accreditation form for The Open Championship yesterday and swiftly realised that, yes you’ve guessed it, I’d forgotten my ruddy password.

As a muttering, harrumphing consequence, I was faced with the usual ignominy of selecting that sneering little option that says, ‘forgotten your password?’ and trudging back to my email in-box to click on a reset link before cobbling together yet another unmemorable accumulation of letters, numbers, symbols and jumbled capitalisations that looks more like some ancient hieroglyphics on the walls of a fusty catacomb.

There was a time when passwords were the reserve of Ali Baba, speakeasy owners or spies. Now, in this world of raging identity theft, you just about need to input one before you have your morning shave in case somebody steals your reflection from the mirror. What a palaver.

But let’s crack on before I forget my latest password. Sparked by the kind of glut of resignations you’d get during a SNP meltdown, there’s been an awful lot of chatter recently about Europe’s future Ryder Cup captaincy plans being plunged into chaos.

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The decision by Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson to resign from the DP World Tour, after sanctions were imposed on them and others for competing without consent on the breakaway LIV Golf circuit, has effectively ended their involvement with the Ryder Cup.

Stenson, of course, was set to be the European skipper for this September’s tussle with the USA in Rome but, after accepting the job in March 2022, his tenure lasted 128 days and he was binned after doing what he said he wouldn’t do by defecting to the LIV rebellion.  

While the shockwaves cracked the plaster on the walls of the tour’s Wentworth HQ, things were smoothed over when the calm, canny Luke Donald stepped in as a replacement skipper. Where we go after that, though, is anybody’s guess?

And for a European set-up that had the kind of entrenched line of assumed succession you’d get with a Royal family, that’s a considerable fly in the ointment.

Westwood, Garcia and Poulter, who all boast shimmering Ryder Cup records and have the profile and presence of sturdy leaders, were all poised to slip into the captain’s armband at some point over the next few years. Graeme McDowell, another Ryder Cup stalwart, was also scribbled on that list until he too jumped on board the LIV gravy train and became persona non grata in the eyes of the European hierarchy.

In a stroke, Team Europe has lost a decade’s worth of captains and vice-captains and that special brew of cohesion and continuity has been poured down the cundy.

Of course, vast experience, grand accomplishment and general gravitas doesn’t guarantee that a Westwood, a Garcia or a Poulter would make a great captain. Nick Faldo, for instance, appointed his own ego as a vice-captain when he took charge in 2008 and his calamitous stint made Liz Truss’s leadership look like a rip-roaring triumph.

In the climate of division, debate, rancour and recrimination that has been created by the emergence of LIV, however, it now seems that we won’t get the opportunity to see if the likes of Westwood, Garcia and Poulter would be esteemed leaders.

Only yesterday, the decorated Bernard Gallacher suggested in the Daily Telegraph that Europe could return to the days when a captain performed the role for multiple matches. Gallacher, of course, was the last man to skipper the team more than once, eventually guiding Europe to victory at Oak Hill in 1995 in his third spell in the position.

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Gallacher stated that the doubling up of the duty for home and away contests should start now, with Donald staying on after Rome to captain the team again in New York in 2025. It’s a fickle old business, mind you. If Donald’s Europeans preserve an unbeaten home record stretching back 30 years, he’ll get worshipped like Zeus. Lose and he’ll probably attract the kind of withering flak that used to be directed at a squadron of B-52s.

You can see Gallacher’s point, though. There have been plenty of popular and successful captains in recent years who probably could’ve had another crack at it. Due to the burgeoning pile of potential candidates on the conveyor belt, though, they had to keep things moving swiftly along. Circumstances have suddenly changed now, though, and a re-think could be required.

A double shift wouldn’t be the worst idea. In the women’s game, Catriona Matthew was just about carried into a second term on a sedan chair after captaining Europe to a thrilling Solheim Cup win in 2019. Her successful stewardship two years later on American soil burnished her colossal standing and underlined the old adage that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Europe’s Ryder Cup line of succession, meanwhile, has been broken. We can only wonder what the fix will be.