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USA to Make Shock Ryder Cup Captain Appointment

By: | Mon 08 Jul 2024

For months - even years - many had anticipated that Tiger Woods would take the reins as United States Ryder Cup captain for what is sure to be a raucous encounter against Luke Donald's Europe at Bethpage in New York in 2025, but the 15-time major champion and winning 2019 Presidents Cup captain has reportedly turned down that opportunity.

Having been coy on the subject for some time, Woods has passed on taking the position, which was revealed by James Corrigan of The Daily Telegraph - something that is speculated to have been influenced by the legendary American's expanded role behind the scenes at the PGA Tour as the circuit seeks to find a resolution with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf.

Where then would the PGA of America look, having been spurned by their number one - and perhaps solitary - candidate? You may have expected grandees like Davis Love III or Fred Couples to be considered, or potentially a widely respected and experienced figure like Stewart Cink.

However - according to the highly informed Sports Illustrated journalist Bob Harig - the next US Ryder Cup captain will be Keegan Bradley.

The 38-year-old - who won the PGA Championship on his major debut in 2011 - played in two Ryder Cups, in 2012 and 2014, in which he formed a lucrative partnership with Phil Mickelson. Bradley was also part of the Presidents Cup in 2013.

Keegan Bradley

If you watched the latest season of Full Swing on Netflix, you'll be aware of how crushed Bradley was at not being chosen as a captain's pick by Zach Johnson for the most recent matches in Italy - an event that proved to be ill-fated for both the United States and the captaincy of the former Masters and Open champion.

Bradley stated that he was an "outsider" - which was a comment backed up by Couples, a vice-captain last time, who said when explaining why the likes of Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas were chosen instead: "He’s an older guy, and he’s not in tight with them. If that had 20 per cent to do with it, I won’t argue that.”

There is no denying Bradley's passion for the Ryder Cup and representing his country - he took his bag from 2012 home and has never opened it, vowing only to do so when he made another team and won the event. 

That didn't come in 2014 at Gleneagles - and he hasn't been part of another team since. But a decade later, could he now return to the fold as captain? 

Appointing a figurehead who will be 39 when the event rolls around next September is a stunning decision, especially considering he hasn't previously served as a vice-captain, which has become a pre-requisite in the minds of organisers.

The PGA of America - chastened from the loss at Marco Simone and turned down by Woods - has completely ripped apart the established script and our expectations of what a Ryder Cup captain should be. 

It's going to be fascinating to see what unfolds.

The Ryder Cup is unlike any other tournament in golf and the atmosphere is something that every golf fan should experience. The experts at Golfbreaks.com can help with all aspects of your Ryder Cup experience, from accommodation and ticket packages to hospitality and travel and playing some of the fantastic nearby courses.

More Ryder Cup Coverage

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Tags: ryder cup daily picks

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