Gallacher: U.S. should ditch task force, tab Couples


Bernard Gallacher knows a fair amount about what it takes to captain a Ryder Cup squad, and his advice to an American contingent looking to end its drought is clear: ditch the task force and install Fred Couples as captain in 2016.

Gallacher made the European squad eight times as a player, then served as captain three times, including a victory at Oak Hill in 1995. He told that the establishment of a Ryder Cup task force after the U.S. loss at Gleneagles amounts to an overreaction following narrow defeats in both 2010 and 2012.

"Things will swing back America's way if they don't panic, but that's exactly what they appear to be doing with this new task force. It just looks like a publicity stunt to me," he said. "America lost the 2014 Ryder Cup because they lost the foursomes 7-1. I find it difficult to see how a task force is going to help with that."

Gallacher also captained the Europeans in 1991 and 1993, both narrow victories for the Americans and the latter when the opposing captain was Tom Watson. Following Watson's unsuccessful return to the helm last month, Gallacher believes the U.S. would be well-served to turn to Couples, who captained victorious Presidents Cup squads in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

"It's difficult to see why they don't pick Fred Couples for next time," said Gallacher, who supports Darren Clarke as 2016 captain for the Europeans. "Fred has been a successful Presidents Cup captain, he's a nice, relaxed type of guy and he will probably get the best out of them."

Gallacher also spoke to the U.K.'s Daily Mail about Ted Bishop's removal as president of the PGA of America, noting that Bishop's social media attack against Ian Poulter was "an undignified thing for a man in his position to get involved in."

"During my time, they had presidents who kept in the background," he said. "Now they want to get involved and help, but it has had the opposite effect."

Of course, no Ryder Cup reaction would be complete without a take on Phil Mickelson's post-round comments at Gleneagles, and Gallacher believes that Mickelson's timing was "completely wrong" when he decided to vent his frustrations about Watson hours after the U.S. defeat had been sealed.

"I would have been very disappointed if one of my players had done that," he said. "Phil must surely regret his actions in the cold light of day."