Love battles losing American legacy


Davis Love III vs. Jose Maria Olazabal.

Advantage Europe.

That will be the spin in Europe when the American and European Ryder Cup captains are officially announced next month for the 2012 matches at Medinah in suburban Chicago.

Olazabal has a decided advantage over Love in their personal histories in the Ryder Cup. Olazabal is 4-1 in Ryder Cup matches when paired against Love, though they’ve never met in singles. Olazabal has more victories paired against Love than any other American.

Overall, Olazabal has an 18-8-5 personal record in Ryder Cup matches. Love is 9-12-5.

Europe with Olazabal on the team is 4-3, the USA with Love is 2-4.

Of course, we’re going to see a lot of European advantages when comparing future Ryder Cup captains. Really, it wouldn't matter who the Americans picked as the next Ryder Cup captain. He'd have a losing Ryder Cup record. The Euros have won six of the last eight Ryder Cups, a couple in record routs.

Of the 10 Americans that would make sense as future Ryder Cup captains, all 10 have losing Ryder Cup records. While Fred Couples and Mark O’Meara are listed below, they’ve almost certainly been DQ’d from consideration by PGA officials, Couples for taking back-to-back Presidents Cup captaincies and O’Meara for his part in encouraging play-for-pay talk before the ’99 Ryder Cup. Here’s the list of future possible Ryder Cup captains:

Fred Couples 7-9-4

Mark O’Meara 4-9-1

Mark Calcavecchia 6-7-1.

Lee Janzen 2-3

David Duval 1-3-2

Phil Mickelson 11-17-6

Jim Furyk 8-15-4

Stewart Cink 3-8-4

Justin Leonard 2-4-6

Tiger Woods 13-14-2

* Three-time major championship winner Larry Nelson is 9-3-1 in Ryder Cup play, but he's 63 years old and has been passed over so many times for the honor that its almost impossible to imagine the PGA appointing him.