• Surprise choice as Fred Couples and Paul Azinger were favourites
• Darren Clarke expected to be named as his European opponent
DAVIS LOVE III | RYDER CUP
Davis Love III is expected to be named as the next US Ryder Cup captain later this month, assuming the role for a second time after the USA’s final day meltdown in 2012 at Medinah.
The 50-year-old, a 20-time winner on the PGA Tour and US PGA champion in 1997, was the choice of an 11-man task force – which included himself – that was set up in the wake of the USA’s wretched performance under Tom Watson at Gleneagles in 2014.
The news of Davis Love’s appointment broke through Golf Channel insider Tim Rosaforte and has come as a surprise to many, with Fred Couples and Paul Azinger – who was captain when the USA last won in 2008 – hotly tipped to succeed Watson, who was widely criticised in the 16.5-11.5 defeat in September.
Phil Mickelson, one of those who condemned Watson’s captaincy in the post-Ryder Cup press conference, had backed Couples for the position ahead of the Farmers Insurance Open two weeks ago, saying the 55-year-old was “strong enough, confident enough and able to withstand the scrutiny that’s going to come their way”.
However, it seems as though Couples – who has captained the USA to victory in the past three Presidents Cups – wasn’t popular with past captains and wasn’t keen on the role anyway, saying late last year that he’s “not a PGA of America guy”.
The call to make Davis Love captain at Hazeltine in 2016 is sure to divide opinion, as the USA grow more desperate to win a competition they have only won once since the turn of the century.
To appoint a captain who has lost the Ryder Cup previously may send out all the wrong signals, but Love seems to be the players’ choice and received total support from his team after the defeat at Medinah in 2012.
Davis Love is due to be announced as Team America’s captain on February 24, while Darren Clarke could be revealed as his European opponent as early as this week.
Davis Love III expected to be named US Ryder Cup captain :: Your thoughts
What do you make of the 11-man task force's decision to appoint Love as captain? Is it the right call, or do you think it will only work in Europe's favour? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.