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Bishop solicited player input into naming Ryder Cup captain

PGA of America
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Tom Pernice Jr. hits from a waste bunker during the final round of the Verizon Heritage Classic at the Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina on April 15, 2007 Photo by Michael Cohen/  - 

ORLANDO, Fla. – Following last week’s selection of Paul McGinley to lead the European Ryder Cup team in 2014 at Gleneagles some on this side of the Atlantic suggested a similar selection system may benefit the U.S. selection process.

Ten members of the European Tour’s Tournament Committee voted unanimously to appoint McGinley to the post out of five candidates, largely following the will of several top players including world No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.

A day later 2012 U.S. team member Jason Dufner was asked if he would like to see a similar process in the U.S. “It’s definitely a hard decision and maybe some players’ input would help,” he said.

On Thursday, however, PGA of America president Ted Bishop said that he did solicit player input during the recent selection of Tom Watson to lead the 2014 team, although Dufner was not asked to contribute to the conversation.

“There were a handful of players that kind of knew where I was going with this thing over the past year and I really appreciate the confidence that they showed and the conversations that I had with them,” Bishop said at the PGA Merchandise Show. “I got a lot of feedback and a lot of phone calls from former Ryder Cup captains after Medinah with their opinions on where we should go with the Ryder Cup captain selection process.”

Bishop also said the appointment of Watson allowed the PGA to shed some light publicly on how captains are picked and stressed that the internal decision to name Watson captain was “unanimous.”