A poll on USA Today’s website gives four choices for the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain: Davis Love III, Fred Couples, Paul Azinger and Johnny Miller. It’s fun to let yourself think about Miller for a minute. I’m not sure where the names came from, but Love has been a popular rumor. On Wednesday, Love spoke about his desire to captain the team in 2012 during a press conference at the Fall Series’ inaugural Sea Island stop, a tournament he is hosting.
“If you asked me two months ago, I’d have said no, I don’t want to take any chance on screwing up playing,” said Love, who has a 9-12-5 record as a player. “But now I look at it, I don’t want to take any chances on not getting to be the Ryder Cup captain.”
Love was an assistant captain this year, along with Paul Goydos, Tom Lehman and Jeff Sluman. Love has a quiet demeanor on the course, but I’ve always found him engaging and thoughtful in the pressroom — not to say that should be the criteria for choosing a captain. But I do not see him as a Corey Pavin clone.
Whoever is selected, he’ll have a much easier job that Pavin. There’s no question Pavin seemed overwhelmed at times, and his act was boring and soul-sucking. But he also had to captain a team playing in Europe, a borderline suicide mission.
It turned out to be a great and competitive Ryder Cup, but remember that the last time the U.S. won on European soil was 1993, and before that, it was 1981. It’s easy to pile on the losing captain, but there might not be a tougher task in sports than winning the Ryder Cup on the road.
The 2012 captain might have an easier road, but he’ll also have more pressure as the presumed favorite.
Who do you trust as captain?