The setting for the 2014 Ryder Cup is Gleneagles, Scotland, and who better to captain that team than the man who has won more British Opens than any man alive, is loved in Scotland and was the last U.S. captain to bring home the Ryder Cup from matches held on European soil.
That man would be Kansas City’s own Tom Watson, who on Thursday was officially named captain of the next U.S. Ryder Cup team. This will be Watson’s second time captaining the Ryder Cup squad from the United States. He was at the helm in 1993, when the United States last won a Ryder Cup played in Europe. The 1993 U.S. team, which included this year’s Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III and Paul Azinger, who led the U.S. team in 2008, along with the late Payne Stewart, Fred Couples and Raymond Floyd, defeated the Europeans 15 to 13 in a competition held at The Belfry in Wishaw, Warwickshire, England.
“I was waiting 20 years to get the call,” Watson said as the official announcement was made on NBC”s “Today” show on Thursday morning. NBC will televise the Ryder Cup weekend competition in 2014.
“I loved it the first time. It’s a great honor to be able to do it again,” Watson said. “This time we need 14 and a half points,”
Watson, who grew up in Kansas City and still lives in the area, won eight major championships on the PGA Tour, including five times at the British Open. He played on four U.S. Ryder Cup teams that won three times and tied once, but never lost. His individual record competing on the U.S. Ryder Cup team was 10-4-1.
“I wanted the challenge, to do it again,” Watson said. “This responsibility is a challenge, but I’ve been there before and I welcome it.
Webb Simpson, 2012 U.S. Open champion sent this text message after learning of the announcement regarding Watson: “Such an amazing player and person, and he demands respect just by the kind of player he’s been. He’s a quiet lion.”
Keegan Bradley, another member of this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team, said on Twitter: All the Ryder Cup talk is getting me excited. Can we play now??!!!!
Rory McIlroy, winner of this year’s PGA Championship and the current No. 1-ranked player in the world, fired off an immediate response to Bradley’s tweet: “You wanna get beaten again already!?”
Watson will be 65 in 2014, making him the oldest U.S. Ryder Cup captain in history.
The 2014 Ryder Cup will be held September 26-28, 2014, on the U.S. Centenary Course in Gleneagles, Scotland.
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