If it ain’t broke and all that. There are still 22 months until the 2025 Ryder Cup but, like a prisoner chalking off the days of his sentence on the wall of his cell, the countdown is on.

Luke Donald’s reappointment as European skipper yesterday, just eight weeks after leading his side to a commanding conquest over the USA in Rome, was hardly an earth-shattering surprise.

When the canny, amiable Englishman hoisted the little gold chalice aloft on that sun-soaked Sunday at the Marco Simone Club back in October, the hearty serenade of ‘two more years’ from his jubilant players was a resounding, ringing endorsement.

Calm, measured, meticulous, successful? No, not a description of this correspondent as a deadline looms – don’t be daft – but the words of Guy Kinnings, the Ryder Cup executive director, as he mulled over the bountiful attributes that Donald brought to the table.

He’ll bring them back again for the return match at boisterous Bethpage Park in New York as Europe try to achieve something they haven’t done since 2012. Win on American soil.

Donald’s reappointment means the European process for selecting a captain has been hurled out of the window. Well, for the time being at least.

“What we've done is make a decision which is based on the goal of retaining the trophy in 2025, I don't think it should be read anything more than that,” added Kinnings of this temporary break from the norm.

For a while now in the European set-up there has been the kind of assumed line of succession that you’d get with a Royal family. The emergence of LIV, and the subsequent defection to the Saudi-backed series of a whole host of players with Ryder Cup captaincy credentials, put something of a spanner in the works.

The retention of Donald, then, means there will be no hats being tossed into the ring, no lengthy interview process and no interminable, tiresome speculation from us lot in the golf media about who’s going to get the job.

Donald becomes the first repeat European captain since Bernard Gallacher performed the role in 1991, 1993 and 1995 while he’ll be aiming to be the first to mastermind home and away wins since Tony Jacklin back in 1985 and 1987.

It was an opportunity, the former world No 1 couldn’t turn down. “Even when I was lifting the trophy and hearing the guys shout, ‘two more years’, I thought, ‘I don't really want to let them down, maybe I have to do this again’,” said Donald, who had stepped into the role after Henrik Stenson was effectively sacked for joining LIV. “But I still wanted some time to think about it.

“It’s not often in life you are given great opportunities. And this is an amazing opportunity. I love the challenge. I think even in my individual career, I've never really backed away from those challenges. To get to No 1 (in the world), for a player of my stature, the way I play the game, wasn't easy, but it gave me a great amount of pride to be able to do that.

“It's just the same as being a captain in 2023. We were up against a strong (US) team and we were coming off our worst ever loss at Whistling Straits. To figure out a way to give the team a better opportunity for success in Rome was very pleasing. Playing away is a different animal. It's a bigger challenge. But it's something that excites me and that's really the reason why I want to do this.

“Talking to the players on that Sunday night was the most gratifying thing for me. Just hearing from them, some of the embraces we had and the tears we shared. I think that showed how much it means to all of us.”

There is already fevered talk that Tiger Woods could be Donald’s opposite number in New York. Tiger himself played down all the hoopla the other day and Donald, who beat Woods in the fourballs of that Medinah thriller in 2012, remained coy on the mouthwatering prospect.

“The desire to win, whoever the (US) captain is, is strong,” he said with statesman-like diplomacy. “Obviously, Tiger's been mentioned as a possible candidate. But we'll have to wait and see.”

We’ve got a while until crunch time in the Big Apple but Donald’s appointment is an early statement of European intent. Start spreadin’ the news