Two-time U.S. Open winner Andy North was named assistant Ryder Cup captain. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Tom Watson and Andy North have known each other since the late 1960s when they were amateur-golf foes. Nearly 50 years later, Watson and North will lead the United States as it seeks to recapture the Ryder Cup.
Watson named North, a two-time U.S. Open champion, as his first assistant captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
“He's somebody I can rely on to tell me about the TOUR, what's going on on the TOUR,” Watson said in a news conference Wednesday at The Greenbrier Classic. “Andy has always been the type of player that I've enjoyed to play golf with, I've competed against, and although he didn't win a lot of tournaments out there, he won a couple U.S. Opens, which when you win a couple U.S. Opens, that means you can really play. He knows what it takes to close the deal and that's what we need on the Ryder Cup team. We need players who can close the deal.”
Watson, an eight-time major champion, also was the captain in the United States’ victory in the 1993 Ryder Cup at The Belfry in England; it was the last time the United States won a Ryder Cup in Europe. The 2014 Ryder Cup is scheduled for Sept. 23-28, 2014, at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland.
The United States has not won the Ryder Cup since 2008. The United States lost a 10-6 lead on the final day of the 2012 match at Medinah. North, 63, won the 1978 and 1985 U.S. Opens. He represented the United States in the 1985 Ryder Cup, losing all three of his matches at The Belfry.
“I really would like to thank you and the PGA of America to get this opportunity,” North said. “It's obviously an honor and we'll do whatever we possibly can to get the cup where it belongs, back here at home.”
Watson and North paired to win three unofficial Raphael Division titles at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2008, the pair won the official Legends Division in wire-to-wire fashion after an opening 59.