Planet Golf — 25 February 2015 by GW staff and news services
Love is popular choice as ‘Cup captain

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fl. — Davis Love III will get another chance to turn around the United States’ fortunes in the Ryder Cup, as the PGA of America named him captain for 2016 on Tuesday.

Love, who served as U.S. Captain in 2012 when the team lost in a record-setting comeback by Europe in the Sunday’s singles matches at Medinah, was the unanimous recommendation of the Ryder Cup Task Force. The 2016 event will be held at Hazeltine on Sept. 27-Oct. 2. Europe has won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups.

“I am thrilled to be the Team USA Captain and represent our country as we work to win back the Ryder Cup,” Love said in a statement.

In addition to naming Love as Captain, the Task Force also announced changes to the Captain’s selection process, along with the qualifying system for U.S. players and new leadership for future Ryder Cups. The points structure will be changed, and dates will be pushed back to allow players more opportunities to earn Ryder Cup points or enhance their chances to become a Captain’s pick. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem issued a statement Tuesday supporting the changes.

“We applaud the PGA of America for the adjustments it has made to the Ryder Cup,” Finchem said in his statement. “In particular, how Captain’s Picks will be determined moving forward will not only help put together the best possible United States Ryder Cup team, it will also drive greater interest for the event as those selections get made.

“In addition, we commend the PGA for including the players in this decision-making process and, moving forward, believe doing so will be meaningful to the long-term success of the event and the United States Ryder Cup team.”

The Ryder Cup Task Force that chose Love has now been dissolved, with a newly designated PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee responsible for identifying future Captains and Vice-Captains and consulting on a wide array of matters related to the Ryder Cup.

“Today marks a new era in U.S. Ryder Cup history, and we could not be more pleased that Davis Love III will be our Captain,” said Derek Sprague, the Task Force Co-Chair who made Tuesday’s announcement. “Davis brings a unique perspective and experience of having served as Captain, Vice-Captain and as a key player on six Ryder Cup Teams. Davis, who has the utmost respect of his peers, will bring his vast Ryder Cup knowledge to lead Team USA in 2016.

“Our sincere thanks to the members of the Ryder Cup Task Force for their commitment to drive change that we all believe will result in a better process for Team USA going forward.”

Love, 50, is the 28th person to serve as U.S. Captain since the Ryder Cup began in 1927. He is the eight American to guide multiple Ryder Cup teams.

“It is a great honor to be in the position to help build the team, but our mission doesn’t end there,” Love said. “What we accomplish in 2016 at Hazeltine must serve as the foundation for future USA Ryder Cup Teams. As the son of a PGA Professional and representing all PGA members, I am very proud to accept this responsibility and eager to get started.”

In addition, Love named former Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman to serve as one of his Vice-Captains. Lehman, the 2006 U.S. Captain, was a member of three Ryder Cup Teams.

“I am very pleased that Tom Lehman has accepted to serve as a Vice-Captain, bringing his outstanding experience and the respect of all players to our next Team,” Love said. “Tom has been a trusted friend who I can call upon to provide valuable advice as we go about preparing Team USA.”

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