by Jeff Skinner
Tom Watson as the 2014 Ryder Cup Captain…did anyone see this one coming? That is besides Tom and the new PGA President Ted Bishop.
Was that question posed to Watson at the Australian Open a plant to put the thought of Watson as a captain into the golf consciousness? Or was it a reporter that had some inside information?
Ted Bishop didn’t waste any time in making a splash as the new PGA President. In one decision he wrote the first paragraph of his legacy at the PGA of America. He’s the one that dared to “shake it up” and throw out the formula for selecting the Ryder Cup Captain.
You have to wonder if the American team hadn’t blown that lead on Sunday and Davis Love III had won the cup if Bishop and the PGA would have taken the same action.
If you ask me David Toms lost his chance for the 2014 captaincy because the U.S. failed at Medinah.
Larry Nelson is once again the odd man out, but maybe not. Watson will be 65 when he captains the team at Gleneagles. If he is successful maybe a 69 year old Nelson in 2016 isn’t out of the question.
As for all the other potential captains in future Ryder Cups this may be a godsend. No longer do the forty-somethings have a lock on the captaincy. Now the window of opportunity is much longer. So a player hoping to be a captain can expect to be considered not only in his forties or fifties but sixties also.
Or is it the magnitude of Watson’s resume that trumps the age issue? Eight majors, 39 PGA Tour wins and a place among the icons of the game goes a very long way.
Larry Nelson won two PGA Championships and one U.S. Open. David Toms has one PGA Championship. Tom Watson won five Open Championships, two Masters and one U.S. Open. He is one major short of the career grand slam…The PGA Championship. It’s funny how things work out.