Two days from formally revealing the identity of the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain, new PGA of America president Ted Bishop hinted at a media luncheon Tuesday in New York that, “we’ve done something a little bit different this year.”
Golf World senior writer and Golf Channel contributor Tim Rosaforte reported Tuesday that Tom Watson will be named the 2014 Ryder Cup captain on Thursday. Golf Channel confirmed the news through multiple sources.
Watson, 63, who last captained the Americans in 1993 at The Belfry – the last time the Americans won on foreign soil – would be the first repeat captain since Jack Nicklaus (1983, ’87).
Bishop is planning to announce who the captain will be during a 8:30 a.m. ET segment Thursday on NBC’s “Today' show.
GolfChannel.com’s Jason Sobel reported earlier Tuesday that neither David Toms nor Larry Nelson had been contacted by the PGA regarding the opening.
The selection of Watson would signal a departure from the PGA’s traditional way of choosing a captain. Typically, it has opted for a 40something former major champion who is somewhat competitive on Tour, but losing seven of the past nine Ryder Cups perhaps prompted the organization to alter its thinking.
Also working in Watson’s favor was that he won four of his five Open Championships in Scotland; the 2014 Ryder Cup will be held at Gleneagles in Perthshire.
Watson seemingly was off the PGA’s radar until this past weekend, when he told reporters in Australia that he would be interested in the captaincy, if asked.
“It would be a great honor if I got tapped on the shoulder,” he said. “’93 was the last time I’ve been to a Ryder Cup. I’d like to go back as captain. That would be cool.”