Europe has Luke Donald booked in already, but who’s services will Team USA acquire to wrestle back the Ryder Cup at Bethpage in 2025?
The next US Ryder Cup captain already knows who they’re facing in 2025.
Team Europe was quick to pass a pen to Luke Donald to ink his name in for Bethpage.
The blue and gold want to win on away soil for the first time since Medinah against an American team embroiled in debate after debate in Rome.
Do some players want to be paid? Do Americans care about the Ryder Cup as much as Europe?
Team USA will look to someone to block out the noise and knuckle down to wrestle the cup back.
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Fred Couples has been a US Ryder Cup vice-captain three times and he played for Team USA five times.
This major-winning former World No.1 would seem an obvious choice with his frequent association with the event and he could harness the support of the New York crowd at Bethpage.
At Marco Simone in September, Couples told NCG that crowd trouble wasn’t an issue and that the fans at the Ryder Cup are the “coolest thing in golf.”
Known for his calm and collected demeanour on the fairways, Couples could be just the man for Team USA at such a tense event.
The 2009 Open champion had his first stint as a Ryder Cup vice-captain in Rome this year. Although he didn’t taste success, it was a taste of leadership required to be a captain one day.
Stewart Cink made five consecutive Ryder Cup appearances from 2002 to 2010, experiencing victory only once at Valhalla in 2008.
It could be a case of natural progression for Cink who could’ve used the week at the 2023 Ryder Cup to gather his thoughts ahead of a tilt at captaincy shortly.
“I do want to be the captain and think I can be. But with all due respect to Tiger Woods, I think it’s up to him,” Cink said to Sports Illustrated.
“I haven’t been told anything. And no one has mentioned one thing to me. But I know I can do it. And I know I would love to do it. Especially after being an assistant at the last Ryder Cup.”
If you had to part with money to predict the next US Ryder Cup captain, a flurry of support would come for Tiger Woods.
His name has been linked with Bethpage for many months and at 47 years old and still recovering from surgery, his playing days are few and far between.
Woods said there was “too much at stake” with the PGA Tour to think about the Ryder Cup when speaking at this year’s Hero World Challenge.
Perhaps when things are wrapped up between the tour and the Public Investment Fund, Woods could turn his attention elsewhere.
Steve Stricker guided Team USA to a record-breaking 19-9 victory in 2021 at Whistling Straits with one of the States’ most impressive sides for a while.
His team was on hot form heading to Wisconsin and, although you could attribute the demolition of Europe to the quality of players, it seemed Stricker galvanised them and did a stellar job.
Could America look to their most recent winning captain to return the cup in 2025? It wouldn’t be such a shock having played in three of them and served as a vice-captain in the most recent renewal.
This is a name that hasn’t been mentioned too loudly in the US Ryder Cup captain circles.
Matt Kuchar served as a vice-captain in 2018 under Jim Furyk and, despite not winning on the PGA Tour, he will want a run at qualifying for Team USA in two years.
The 45-year-old has played in four Ryder Cups. With his age and experience, he is certainly entering the ballpark to be considered as captain.
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