Azinger to Captain Again


The movement to draft Paul Azinger to repeat as U.S. Ryder Cup captain has been gaining momentum all week in the wake of Americas pulsating 16-11 point rout of the Europeans Sunday in Louisville.
Two captaincies in a row for Azinger is a longshot.
But, Kenny Perry said Wednesday, Paul Azinger needs to be made a captain again.
In the past we have said there are not enough Ryder Cups to provide the experience of being captain for all the great U.S. players who are deserving, PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka told GOLF CHANNEL. Invariably someone is left out.
But longshots and Kentucky victories have a history together. A horse named Donerail won the 1913 Kentucky Derby after going to the post at almost 100-1.
And upon closer examination, the odds on Azinger reprising his role in 2010 in Wales at the next Ryder Cup, arent so long after all.
Meanwhile, GOLF CHANNEL has learned that Azinger has told a close associate that he is intrigued with the possibility of captaining the U.S. side at the 2012 matches scheduled for Medinah, near Chicago.
Due to changes in the system, the job might not represent as much of a time commitment as it used to. For starters, under the new system, the only Ryder Cup points earned in 2009 will be at the four majors. That means the PGA of America can safely wait, if it wishes, to name its next captain. The PGA of America announced Azingers captaincy in November of 2006. But it could effectively shorten the time Azinger needs to prepare for 2010 by delaying his appointment.
For that matter, the PGA of America, if it wanted, could hire a full time staffer to do a lot of the nuts and bolts stuff Azinger had to do in advance of Valhalla.
Asked if there was a policy, written or unwritten, against having a captain serve two Ryder Cups in a row, Steranka replied, No, there is no policy.
At the Sunday night victory press conference, Azinger said, Im not going to think about it, when asked about captaining the U.S. in 2010.
Zinger in 10, Justin Leonard said in response to Azingers answer.
Zinger in 10, chimed in Phil Mickelson.
Stay tuned.

Meanwhile there is quite another movement afoot in Europe to crown Welshman Ian Woosnam as Europes next Ryder Cup captain. Much of the push is coming from Wales where the matches will take place.
Woosnam successfully captained the Euros to a smashing 18-9 win over the Americans in Ireland two years ago.
The early favorite to captain the Euros next time out has been two-time Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal, who served as Nick Faldos vice-captain at Valhalla.
Olazabal has been ill much of 2008 with an undiagnosed illness. Doctors have done repeated and exhaustive tests and found nothing. The whole process has left Olazabal drained.
If Woosnam gets the nod in 2010, look for Olazabal to captain the Euros at Medinah near Chicago in 2012 and Scot Colin Montgomerie to get the post at Gleneagles in Scotland in 2014.
Montgomerie has said Scot Sandy Lyle should get the nod in 2012. But Lyle, although likable, is said to be somewhat out of touch with the younger players. He is an unlikely choice.

One of the hot topics at commissioner Tim Finchems press conference at the TOUR Championship in Atlanta this week was the FedExCup point system.
FedEx isnt real happy seeing headlines like, FedExCup Fails To Deliver, one highly-placed source told GOLF CHANNEL.
The source was referring to the fact that Vijay Singh already has clinched the $10 million first prize before the players tee off Thursday at East Lake.
GOLF CHANNEL has learned that the TOUR has not ruled out the possibility of a radical change in the points system ' one that would make a sizable amount of the $10 million pot still up for grabs when the players arrive in Atlanta even if first place in the points standings has been clinched.

Word out of Atlanta is that Colombian Camilo Villegas, who was unhappy with remarks made by network announcers during the final round of his victory at the recent BMW Championship, met with TV officials and cleared the air at East Lake.
What disturbed Villegas were remarks made on the air that Villegas interpreted to mean that he feared kidnapping every time he returned to his home country.

Kenny Perry, barbecued in many media outlets this year for playing in just one major championship because he wanted to make the Ryder Cup team, said Wednesday he wont tailor his schedule to make the team in 2010.
Perry will be 50 years old when those matches take place in Wales. But Perry, who has never won a major, did say he will play in all four in 2009. I think I may have one left in me, he said.

Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Related Links:
  • U.S. Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • European Ryder Cup Team and Records
  • Full Coverage - 37th Ryder Cup