It's official: Love named 2016 Ryder Cup Captain
Task Force also announces changes to selection process and qualifying system
February 24, 2015
By PGATOUR.COM Staff,
- Davis Love III’s squad lost a big lead on the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Davis Love III will get another chance to turn around the United States' fortunes in the Ryder Cup, as the PGA of America named him captain for 2016 on Tuesday.
Love, who served as U.S. Captain in 2012 when the team lost in a record-setting comeback by Europe in the Sundays singles matches at Medinah, was the unanimous recommendation of the Ryder Cup Task Force. The 2016 event will be held at Hazeltine on Sept. 27-Oct. 2. Europe has won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups.
"I am thrilled to be the Team USA Captain and represent our country as we work to win back the Ryder Cup," Love said in a statement.
In addition to naming Love as Captain, the Task Force also announced changes to the Captain’s selection process, along with the qualifying system for U.S. players and new leadership for future Ryder Cups. The points structure will be changed, and dates will be pushed back to allow players more opportunities to earn Ryder Cup points or enhance their chances to become a Captain's pick (complete list of changes below).
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem issued a statement Tuesday supporting the changes.
"We applaud the PGA of America for the adjustments it has made to the Ryder Cup," Finchem said in his statement. "In particular, how Captain’s Picks will be determined moving forward will not only help put together the best possible United States Ryder Cup team, it will also drive greater interest for the event as those selections get made.
"In addition, we commend the PGA for including the players in this decision-making process and, moving forward, believe doing so will be meaningful to the long-term success of the event and the United States Ryder Cup team."
The Ryder Cup Task Force that chose Love has now been dissolved, with a newly designated PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee responsible for identifying future Captains and Vice-Captains and consulting on a wide array of matters related to the Ryder Cup.
“Today marks a new era in U.S. Ryder Cup history, and we could not be more pleased that Davis Love III will be our Captain,” said Derek Sprague, the Task Force Co-Chair who made Tuesday's announcement. “Davis brings a unique perspective and experience of having served as Captain, Vice-Captain and as a key player on six Ryder Cup Teams. Davis, who has the utmost respect of his peers, will bring his vast Ryder Cup knowledge to lead Team USA in 2016.
“Our sincere thanks to the members of the Ryder Cup Task Force for their commitment to drive change that we all believe will result in a better process for Team USA going forward.”
Love, 50, is the 28th person to serve as U.S. Captain since the Ryder Cup began in 1927. He is the eight American to guide multiple Ryder Cup teams.
“It is a great honor to be in the position to help build the team, but our mission doesn’t end there," Love said. "What we accomplish in 2016 at Hazeltine must serve as the foundation for future USA Ryder Cup Teams. As the son of a PGA Professional and representing all PGA members, I am very proud to accept this responsibility and eager to get started."
In addition, Love named former Ryder Cup Captain Tom Lehman to serve as one of his Vice-Captains. Lehman, the 2006 U.S. Captain, was a member of three Ryder Cup Teams.
“I am very pleased that Tom Lehman has accepted to serve as a Vice-Captain, bringing his outstanding experience and the respect of all players to our next Team,” Love said. “Tom has been a trusted friend who I can call upon to provide valuable advice as we go about preparing Team USA.”
PLAYERS REACT TO LOVE ANNOUNCEMENT
ZACH JOHNSON: "I am not surprised in the least. I am really excited for the team because we all know Davis is a competitor. We all know his resume, we all know his passion for the Ryder Cup and more than that we know what kind of guy he is. We know what he can do as a leader. He's a guy that lets us go play. He's strategic enough that he doesn't have to say much. ... Davis put us in a position to win the Ryder Cup on Sunday and I think we lost it as a team. I think a Ryder Cup captain cannot put you in a position to win it but can put you in a position to lose it. There's a fine line there. It feels to me that Davis is one of the guys that has (the formula)."
KEEGAN BRADLEY: "We let him down on Sunday in Chicago. He deserves another chance to win the Ryder Cup. He's connected with the players. He still plays out here. We all know him very well and we respect him and want to win that Ryder cup for him."
Interesting changes to the qualifying process for the '16 Ryder Cup! I like them.. Good work by the task force and huge congrats to @Love3d!— Jordan Spieth (@JordanSpieth) February 24, 2015
The members of the U.S. Ryder Cup Task Force were co-chairs Sprague and PGA Chief Executive Officer Pete Bevacqua; PGA Vice President Paul Levy, Raymond Floyd, Tom Lehman, Love, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods.
The newly designated, six-member PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee includes the current PGA of America President (Sprague), PGA Vice President (Levy) and CEO (Bevacqua); Ryder Cup Captain (Love); and Ryder Cup players Mickelson and Woods.
The changes made by the Ryder Cup Task Force are as follows:
Vice-Captains: Team USA will feature four Vice-Captains, composed of two former U.S. Ryder Cup Captains and two additional individuals with extensive Ryder Cup experience.
Points System: All U.S. players will earn points based upon the following criteria starting in 2015 and concluding Aug. 28, 2016.
- 2015 major championships (one point per $1,000 earned): The Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, PGA Championship
- 2015 World Golf Championships events and THE PLAYERS Championship (one point per $2,000 earned): WGC Cadillac Championship, WGC Cadillac Match Play Championship, THE PLAYERS Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, WGC-HSBC Champions
- 2016 Regular PGA TOUR events (1 point per $1,000 earned): Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, through and including The Barclays on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016
- 2016 Opposite Field PGA TOUR Events will not receive any points
- 2016 Major Championships (2 points per $1,000 earned)
The Top Eight: Eight of the 12 members of the U.S. Team will be named on points earned following the conclusion of The Barclays, which is scheduled to conclude Sunday Aug. 28, 2016. This new timetable gives two additional weeks for players to earn Ryder Cup qualifying points.
Captain’s Picks: Three of the four Captain’s Picks will be announced after the conclusion of the BMW Championship, which is scheduled to conclude on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. The final Captain’s pick will take place Sunday evening after THE TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, Sept. 25, 2016. This new timetable also is pushed back two weeks.
PGATOUR.COM's Brian Wacker contributed to this report