We all knew that Davis Love III was set to be named USA Ryder Cup captain for the 2016 match at Hazeltine National ahead of last night’s announcement.
But we also learned of a number of changes to the selection process and the general make-up of Team USA.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have been named as permanent members of a six-man Ryder Cup committee and two captain’s picks will be reserved for after the Tour Championship.
- Darren Clarke named 2016 Europe Ryder Cup Captain
- Davis Love the second – top 10 repeat Ryder Cup captains
- Darren Clarke v Davis Love III – Who would you rather have?
There will still be four picks but the two later additions will allow Love III to pick two in-form players.
Heading into Gleneagles last year Billy Horshel was the form player after winning the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup but it was too late for selection.
Love will have two former captains as his vice-captains and two further vice captains with significant Ryder Cup experience. This will be the template for 2016 and future Ryder Cups.
Tom Lehman – captain in 2006 and vice-captain to Love in 2012 – will once again take up a vice-captain’s role at Hazeltine.
We round up all the best quotes for last night’s announcement at PGA National.
Derek Sprague (President, PGA of a America): The European Team is strong and will continue to be a formidable opponent. But our main objective obviously was to choose a Ryder Cup Captain who will best prepare our team to compete and win.
“A captain with Ryder Cup experience, who is passionate about the matches, respected by his players and is selfless in his approach. Someone who is a terrific motivator, a natural leader, and who will have Team USA prepared for Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota in 2016.
Davis Love III: “I’m here with the same goal I had in 2012 but not as the same captain. The task force has been an open, honest team‑building experience; the collaborative effort of so many veterans of the Ryder Cup is a result of the passion and commitment to build a team structure that will lay the groundwork for future teams.
“So 2016 will be a collaborative effort of many individuals from the task force, past Ryder Cup Captains, veteran players of The Ryder Cup to create the best environment for our team to be totally prepared to compete at Hazeltine National.”
I want to congratulate Davis on his selection. I have great respect for him as a person, player and captain" – Tiger Woods Tom Lehman: “Davis was a great captain and will continue to be a great captain and it will be an hand or to serve with him on this 2016 team.”
“I’m so excited to be a part of this team for that reason, to help build the team and be part of the process of building a team that has a chance to succeed in 2016.
Tiger Woods: “I want to congratulate Davis on his selection. I have great respect for him as a person, player and captain. I’m proud of what the task force accomplished making substantive changes in the captain’s selection process & qualifying system. It’s also an honour to be on PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee, helping select future captains, vice captains and other duties.”
Rickie Fowler: “It’s actually been probably one much my biggest honours as a professional golfer, just to be a part of this task force, be in the room with the whole crew and get to go back and forth on The Ryder Cup, how we can make it better and really come out at the end of the day with Davis being our captain, really feeling like we had an impact and that voice moving forward, and we will have that voice continuing through the next year and a half, and leading into The Ryder Cup.”
Phil Mickelson: “It was very interesting for me to hear such great insight from so many players, like past players like Ray Floyd, hear their thoughts, as well as young players like Rickie Fowler what they saw on how they view The Ryder Cup.
“To get everybody together, to have an opportunity to have a voice and be heard and to actually make an impact and have a difference; it’s exciting for everybody here.
“It’s really a positive step and as we look long‑term over the next ten Ryder Cups, over the next two decades, I think it’s exciting, what we are trying to lay down here this upcoming Ryder Cup and the input that is being taken in by Davis by all different parties, and implemented as kind of a blueprint or foundation for the upcoming multiple Ryder Cups, not just this next one, is exciting for the generations to follow.”