After the announcement last week of the choice for the next captain of the European team for the 2016 Ryder Cup event, with the 46-year-old Ulsterman Darren Clarke getting the nod, the United States have now followed suit and appointed Davis Love III as the man to lead their team. It confirmed what had been a poorly kept secret, after his name had been leaked on the Golf Channel the week before.
Love will lead his fellow countrymen on home soil in 2016 at the Hazeltine National in Minnesota, after the PGA of America made their announcement earlier this week. Their decision on the captaincy had followed on from an inquiry into the cause of the American team's failures at the Ryder Cup in modern history. From being the dominant team for many decades, their standards have appeared to fall away as the European team's fortunes have been on an upward progression. Their latest appointment of captain is an attempt to vastly improve a record of only one win this century in the high profile golfing event.
After the formal announcement, Love stated that: "I have the same goal as I had in 2012 but not as the same captain. It's a new team-building culture. We want to win." He also echoed the concept of bringing in continuity and team work for 2016 and future Ryder Cups, something that was thought to be missing from their set up. By contrast, the European team has been operating along those lines for several of the recent Ryder Cups, appointing vice-captains to assist the main captain (as Paul McGinley acknowledged during the last event), who often are then promoted to the overall captaincy themselves for future Ryder Cups. In doing so, they become better-acquainted with how the process works and also tap into the camaraderie that develops during the competition, among the various team members.
Some eyebrows may have been raised however at America's choice, with many still painfully remembering the manner in which his team surrendered a commanding overnight position on the final day in 2012 at Medinah, when he previously captained the American side.
As a player though, his credentials can hardly be questioned, being a former PGA Championship winner, winning 20 events in total on the PGA tour and reaching as high as number 3 in the world rankings during his career. He has also played on both winning and losing Ryder Cup teams as a player. He will also feel that he has unfinished business in the captaincy role after his 2012 experience, and will surely be determined to put that right next time. It promises to be an intriguing event next year. #Celebrities