Once word spread that Davis Love III would be given his second chance as U.S. Ryder Cup captain, the inevitable question was why Fred Couples was denied a chance at his first.
According to a source close to the PGA of America Task Force, Couples was actually never seriously considered for the job. It was Love that was the players' favorite from the beginning, earning unanimous support after both the first and second meetings.
Why such strong sentiment about a guy who was unsuccessful his first go-round in 2012? Mostly because Love combined the experience and respect of the players, while representing a foundation to build on. With Love it wasn't like they would be starting over, but there is more to it than that. Not to be discounted given the high level of scrutiny that comes with the Ryder Cup is that Love's personality is equipped to deal with criticism.
As part of the bigger picture plan, Love will only captain the team that will host the Europeans in 2016, but will also be locked in as a vice captain for the 2018 Ryder Cup in France. Along the way, Love will maintain a strong tie to the PGA Tour by taking on another term on the PGA Tour Policy Board, and is expected to be an assistant captain to Jay Haas on the U.S. Presidents Cup team in Korea.
As for Couples, and Paul Azinger, both could have impacts on Love's captaincy. Couples has already said he'd like to be part of the support group as an assistant captain. Azinger -- who took his name out of consideration -- has been a valuable resource for the Task Force. Having Zinger's input and Couples in the team room is the best of both captaincies.
This buy-in by even those not on the Task Force reflects the overall counter balance that has emerged between the players and the PGA since Gleneagles. In the 7 1/2 hours that they met, not including the texts and phone calls between the two meetings, even the finer points of carving out more early week practice time was resolved.
It's all about a long-term plan that will rotate Task Force members Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker in and out of the captain's role, eventually leading to the day when Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler become captains. The ultimate goal is to put the players in a position where they can succeed. It's the same model the European Tour has used to win eight of the last 10 Cups.
Look for Love's official selection on Tuesday to be only a small part of the PGA of America's program. Also being announced will be the latest revision to the points system, and to when the picks will be made, this last part a result of the 2016 PGA being played before the golf competition of next year's Olympics in Rio.