Davis Love III will be the 2016 US Ryder Cup Captain. This is his second try at the helm; is first being a loss at Medinah in 2012. As a reminder, the 39th Ryder Cup was held at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, U.S. The team captains were Davis Love III and José María Olazábal for Europe. As defending champions, the European team was down 10-6 going into the last day! Depending on which side of the fence you sit, the results were either a miracle or a meltdown! The Europeans rallied and won the match 14 1/2 to 13 1/2. It was the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history!
There is little question that “how” Love failed to keep his team together on the last day will be a focal point of future conversations. There will be plenty of second guessing and armchair quarterbacks who think they have the answer. But, the decision is made and now is the time for the potential US players to start thinking as a team.
Names like Fred Couples (who I actually would prefer) and Paul Azinger (2008 winner at the Ryder Cup as US Captain) were bantered about. In the big scheme of things…..it does not matter.
Adam Sarson makes a great point:
The role of the captain at the Ryder Cup is to put your team in the best possible place for success. Love did that at Medinah and it didn’t work out, while Watson very clearly didn’t do that and unsurprisingly, it didn’t work either. The PGA of America tried to hit the home run with Watson and it didn’t work, so they went with the safe, reliable play in Love but all of it will mean nothing if the players don’t perform better at Hazeltine and get a little bit of luck along the way as well.
The players have to take ownership for how they play at the Ryder Cup. Past records are fine, finger-pointing is not helpful, and hoping for a magic solution just does not cut it. If the US Ryder Cup Team plans to beat the Europeans in 2016, the players are the ones who have to step up.
The ifs, ands, and buts will change 50 times before they players tee it up at Hazeltine National Golf Club from 30 September to 2 October, 2016. The only thing I am confident about is that it will be interesting to watch Davis Love III navigate his way through all the minutia in attempts to bring the Ryder Cup back to the US.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!