Paul Azinger has been tipped to return to the role of US Ryder Cup captain following America’s poor performance at Gleneagles.
Paul Azinger used his now famous ‘pod’ system to bond his team together in 2008, the last time the US won the Ryder Cup.
Jason Dufner was one former Ryder Cup player to head to Twitter in support of ‘Zinger’, whilst FedExCup champion Billy Horschel said the job should either go to Fred Couples or Azinger.
Tom Watson led the US team to their eighth loss in ten Ryder Cups at Gleneagles yesterday – the US went down 16.5 – 11.5 - and faced a very public dressing down from Phil Mickelson in the immediate aftermath.
Paul Azinger - Lefty shows support
Watson’s most decorated team member used the losing team’s press conference – whilst sitting a few seats along from his captain – to talk-up the captaincy of Paul Azinger.
The left-hander said the US “have strayed a winning formula for the last three Ryder Cups”. He added: “We need to consider maybe getting back to that formula that helped us play our best,” said Mickelson.
Watson replied: “"He has a difference of opinion. My management philosophy is different than his.”
Zinger, the 1993 PGA champion, developed a ‘pod’ system in 2008 at Valhalla, whereby he split his 12-man team into three different teams of four, an idea he borrowed from the Navy SEALS.
Those groups were then kept together for practice rounds and through the match – and it was a strategy that paid off handsomely.
Promoting his book Paul Azinger - Cracking The Code: The Winning Ryder Cup Strategy just 18 months after the victory, Azinger explained: "We put guys together who would sell out for each other, share secrets and share philosophies.
“We paired guys based on like personalities, not like games. We wanted guys who got along, who would respond well to each other in pressure-packed situations."
The players bought into the idea. Jim Furyk admitted: “I’ve been on teams before but this was the first time I looked and grasped the idea of how I can make the other person feel more comfortable.”
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