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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Ryder Cup Shuffle

Thursday morning is when the PGA will announce the American captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup team. And according to GC, we could be in for a big surprise.

Here's why: Apparently the PGA usually gets in contact with their choice well before the announcement is made... and apparently none of the expected choices has been contacted yet.

At least those folks "in the know" about these things don't think they have.

The frontrunners in this little race were thought to be David Toms, Tom Watson, and Larry Nelson. Toms most closely fits the recent profile -- an active Tour player between 40 and 50 with major wins. But he says the PGA hasn't contacted him about anything.

Larry Nelson has been a "sentimental favorite" for some time. I won't go into the whole story, but Nelson gave up a chance to be captain back in the 1990s so Lanny Watkins could do it, having been told he would get another chance. He never got it. There's been a big campaign to make him captain this time... but Nelson says the PGA hasn't contacted him either.

Tom Watson said last week that he'd love to repeat as captain if the PGA would let him. But if they've talked to him, he's staying mum on the subject.

And despite being the Presidents Cup captain, many think Fred Couples might get the job. But Freddie hasn't said anything about it... not that I think he would.

Personally, I think it's going to be Freddie. He's closest to the criteria the PGA has been using for the last couple of decades and, as we all know, he's been very successful as the Presidents Cup captain. Of course, that would mean that Freddie's becoming a professional captain, a position that could curtail his playing somewhat. But given his back problems, that might not be a bad thing for him.

At any rate, I suspect the PGA decided they have only one real criterium for the US Ryder Cup captain -- they want a winner. Of all the potential captains currently available, Freddie is probably the most obvious choice.

We'll find out tomorrow. It's going to be announced on The Today Show on NBC, and GC will then run a special about the choice at 10am ET.

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