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PGA hints Ryder Cup pick will be "different"

December 11, 2012

For those handicapping the U.S. Ryder Cup captain's selection, consider this somewhat loaded remark by PGA of America president Ted Bishop at a media luncheon Tuesday in New York:

"We've done something a little bit different this year," Bishop said.


Tom Watson in 1993 was the last Ryder Cup captain to win in Europe. Photo: Chris Cole/Getty Images

Presumably Bishop was referring to more than the decision to announce the picks on the "Today" show Thursday morning, but also the standard PGA of America practice of designated a forty-something former major champion winner as the team's next captain. That philosophy stems from the idea that such a player would be young enough to be in touch with today's tour stars, but old enough to no longer be competitive themselves. But perhaps because there's a dearth of such players available -- David Toms, 45, is the only one who jumps out (though, he reportedly has not been approached about the position) -- the PGA may be more leaning toward the likes of Larry Nelson (65) or Tom Watson (63).

Watson was captain of the last U.S. team to win in Europe, at the Belfry in 1993 and said this week he'd love another chance at a captaincy. Nelson, meanwhile, is a three-time major champion with a 9-3-1 career Ryder Cup record who has famously been passed over in the past. But if Bishop's statement is an indicator, he could be getting a second look this year.