Thursday, December 13

Tom Watson Back on the Ryder Cup Job

“WE’RE JUST REALLY TIRED OF LOSING the Ryder Cup,” PGA of America President Ted Bishop said on Thursday during a media conference that announced Tom Watson as the captain of the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Tom Watson
But Tom Watson can’t win the Ryder Cup for the PGA of America—no more than Davis Love III could, or Corey Pavin, or even Paul Azinger, who has been somewhat immortalized since the U.S. victory at Valhalla in 2008. The captains mostly choreograph and cheerlead. They don’t hit any shots. They don’t stroke a single putt. Watson will be a very able captain, I’m sure—maybe one of the best—but it will still come down to the resolve of those 12 American men who earn spots on the 2014 team.

It will be Watson’s second captaincy. His 1993 U.S. team won at The Belfry in England by a narrow margin, 15-13. The 2014 Ryder Cup will be played at Gleneagles in Scotland. Watson was anxious to get a second crack, saying he has been “waiting for this call for a long time.”

“I loved it the first time,” he said. “I’m a great fan of the Ryder Cup. It’s a great honor to be able to do it again.”

The other TW (Tiger Woods), who has had a frosty relationship with Watson stemming from critical remarks Watson made about him, quickly issued a statement.

“I’d like to congratulate Tom Watson on his selection as Ryder Cup captain. I think he’s a really good choice. Tom knows what it takes to win, and that’s our ultimate goal. I hope I have the privilege of joining him on the 2014 United States Team.”

Larry Nelson, a three-time major winner (including two PGA Championships) and a member of three U.S. Ryder Cup teams, was a casualty in the process. Nelson, 65, was considered to be a strong candidate for the 2014 captaincy but was bypassed with the selection of Watson, who got a rare second chance.

Nelson had a 9-3-1 Ryder Cup record. Watson posted a 10-4-1 mark in four Ryder Cup appearances.

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