Asia will provide Europe with a warm-up match play event before the Europeans face the Americans later in the year for the historical biennial matches at the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles next October. This new exhibition, the EurAsia Cup, will be held at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia from March 28-30, 2014, according to the EuropeanTour.com.
The PGA of America and NBC Sports revealed a massive deal on Thursday, with the most newsworthy component being the extension of Golf Channel/NBC receiving the TV rights of the Ryder Cup through 2030.
Naturally, PGA of America President Ted Bishop pointed out that they wanted to respect the PGA Tour and its big event, the Presidents Cup, so they waited until the following week to make their announcement (unlike the USGA during the PGA Championship in August when they unveiled the Fox deal).
At this week’s Greenbrier Classic, U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson announced he had named longtime friend and two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North as his first assistant for the 2014 biennial matches at Gleneagles.
The U.S. Ryder Cup team will have a strong, passionate leader at the head of the table at Gleneagles in Scotland during the 2014 matches. On Thursday morning the PGA of America president Ted Bishop officially named Tom Watson as the next boss of the American squad.
Watson was the captain at the ’93 matches at Belfry, which was the last time the U.S. team won on foreign ground. The Americans have only clinched the Cup twice since then, losing seven of the past nine biennial matches against the Europeans. Yikes.
Who better to break the America’s dismal losing streak in 2014 than the five-time Open Champion Golfer of the Year? I can’t think of one. Not when the venue is in Scotland. It’s important to note that Gleneagles is not a links course, but it doesn’t matter — it’s still Scotland, a magical place filled with remarkable memories for the 63-year-old Watson.
Ed. note: I started writing this post before Rosaforte’s article with the breaking news was published.
If you woke up this morning and thought David Toms or Larry Nelson or anyone else not named Tom Watson were the favorites to be tapped as the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, you may have changed your mind by now.
While the PGA of America won’t make an official announcement until Thursday at 8:30am EST on The Today Show (under the radar, per usual), industry insiders are putting their money on five-time Open Champ Tom Watson, who captained the last American team to win on foreign soil in ’93. Phrases like the PGA is “thinking outside the box” or “shaking it up” have been tossed around by respected journalists.
David Toms is one of the most successful American golfers of his generation. He’s collected 13 PGA Tour victories, including the 2001 PGA Championship; played on three Ryder Cup teams; and, over a career spanning nearly 25 years, amassed a little under $40million in prize money.
And yet, if he’s named on Thursday as Davis Love’s successor to the Ryder Cup captaincy, there remains a sense the decision will have owed more to his inoffensiveness and political good fortune than golfing pedigree.
U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III has publicly handled the stunning loss of his team to the Europeans at Medinah with grace and candor. He’s admitted to second-guessing his decisions, like benching the dynamic duo of Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson on Saturday afternoon, his four captain’s picks, and the pin placements for Sunday singles.
Love, the tournament host at this week’s McGladrey Classic, knows his leadership has been criticized by the press and the public, but perhaps he’s beating himself up over the loss more than anyone else. He’s able to look at the positives of the week, but he’s still not sleeping well. Three weeks later, the ghost of the historic Ryder Cup continues to follow him around.
The grumbling of Ryder Cup darlings Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy appears to have paid off: the European Tour is preparing a change to its membership criteria that would allow appearances at team events like the Ryder Cup, Seve Trophy and President’s Cup (shrewd, that one) to count towards its established 13-tournament minimum.