Azinger: Changes needed before 2016 RC captaincy


Just like in 2008, Paul Azinger said Wednesday that changes would have to be made to the Ryder Cup selection process before he could potentially accept the captaincy for 2016.   

“Well, I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive”, “but there has to be some more changes, I feel, at this point.” 

Before the 2008 matches, Azinger pushed for a restructuring of the selection process, including the move to four captain’s picks. The only victorious U.S. Ryder Cup captain this century, Azinger said Wednesday that the process likely needs to be tweaked again, especially with a hectic summer schedule looming in 2016 because of golf’s return to the Olympic Games.  

Video: Azinger discusses the 2016 Ryder Cup captaincy on 'Morning Drive'

“There are issues that need to be addressed,” he said, “but I think they’re minor. I think the future is bright, and I think 2016 needs to be framed as the new beginning for the American Ryder Cup.”

Noting narrow losses in 2010 (one point) and 2012 (epic Sunday comeback), Azinger added the difference between the U.S. and Europeans is “razor-thin” and that “I don’t think it’s a panic button here.” 

Azinger took a militaristic approach to team building at Valhalla, dividing players into pods based on personality traits, not similar games. He said Phil Mickelson’s comments following the U.S. team’s five-point loss in Scotland were a “great compliment” and that even Azinger was “unaware of how much (Mickelson) embraced and loved it.”