Oct
14
2014
PGA of America creates “task force,” includes Tiger, Phil and Rickie
By Stephanie Wei under Ryder Cup
Task force, who you gonna call?

Task force, who you gonna call?

The PGA of America is infamous for forming its “task forces.” We’re not quite sure what they exactly accomplish yet, rather than getting a group of people together to chat and charging the expenses to the PGA. The task force will reportedly examine the U.S. Ryder Cup process — from how the captains and players are selected to how the team prepares for the matches. Hopefully this one will get the American Ryder Cup team back on track after the U.S. has fallen to Europe in eight of the last 10 biennial dogfights against the two continents. 

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson headline the 11-man task force, which also includes fellow players Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and young Rickie Fowler. Three PGA of America officers will also join them.

“The Ryder Cup is our most prized competitive asset, and the PGA of America is committed to utilizing our utmost energy and resources to support one of the biggest events in all of sport,” said PGA of America President Ted Bishop. “The Ryder Cup Task Force, co-chaired by Derek Sprague and Pete Bevacqua, is an exciting and comprehensive initiative that will guide the PGA in developing the right strategy and building ongoing processes and infrastructure for future generations of U.S Teams.”

Sprague is the incoming PGA president and Bevacqua is the organization’s CEO. They’ll also be joined by PGA secretary Paul Levy. Rounding out the committee will be three past Ryder Cup captains, Raymond Floyd, Tom Lehman and Davis Love III.

“I think this is a great step by the PGA to accomplish what we all want – to win The Ryder Cup,” said Woods in a statement. “The Ryder Cup is very important to every player who has the honor to represent his country. I’m excited to be part of this group.”

Noticeably missing from the task force is 2008 victorious captain and “pod” inventor, Paul Azinger. According to a report, Azinger turned down the opportunity to be part of the group, but he has an upcoming meeting scheduled with the PGA.

“I’m just not ready to sit down and jump on a task force,” Azinger told ESPN. “I have a scheduled meeting with the PGA of America in early November and I just think it’s too soon for me to commit to jumping on a task force.”

The idea of the task force was formed on the chartered flight home from Scotland to the USA. The PGA started to look for the right combination of people on October 3rd.

The inclusion of the generation’s two biggest giants, Tiger Woods and Mickelson — who some believe triggered the formation of the task force after his controversial comments following the U.S. loss at Gleneagles — give the task force instant credibility as they have played in a combined 17 Ryder Cups. However, they also both have very glaring losing records. (So does Furyk and Fowler has yet to win a full point in his two Ryder Cup appearances.)

So far, fellow American players on the PGA Tour are supportive of the newly-created task force.