With United States still reeling from that epic collapse in the Ryder Cup last September, Tom Watson has been named the captain for the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup during a press conference (h/t RyderCup.com) on Thursday.
Watson and PGA of America president Ted Bishop were also on NBC's Today Show (h/t NBC Sports Public Relations) to talk about the historic announcement.
W our new Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson and PGA of America president Ted Bishop on TODAY yfrog.com/mmym3qdj— NBCSportsPR (@NBCSportsPR) December 13, 2012
Tiger Woods on announcement: “I'd like to congratulate Tom Watson on his selection as Ryder Cup captain. I think he's a really good choice..— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) December 13, 2012
During his press conference, Watson made specific mention to Woods (h/t Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post)
Watson on @tigerwoods: "He respects me because he knows I want to win. Nobody wants to win more than Tiger Woods."— NYPost_Cannizzaro (@MarkCannizzaro) December 13, 2012
Watson also told reporters (h/t Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post) what he feels his job is as captain of the Ryder Cup team.
Watson as captain calls himself "a stage manager preparing the stage for the actors - in this case the players"— NYPost_Cannizzaro (@MarkCannizzaro) December 13, 2012
Even though there has been some talk about Watson being too old for the gig, he had this to say to his critics (h/t Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post).
Watson on critics of his wide age difference w players: "we play the same game"— NYPost_Cannizzaro (@MarkCannizzaro) December 13, 2012
Finally, Watson basically used the press conference as a way to say that he was extremely excited about this opportunity and it was a long time coming (h/t Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post).
Tom Watson in his intro as 2014 Ryder Cup captain: "I've been waiting for this call for a long time"— NYPost_Cannizzaro (@MarkCannizzaro) December 13, 2012
Watson's name has been bantered about for the captain spot throughout the week, with Tim Rosaforte of Golf Digest breaking the story and writing about why this move could be the right choice to cure what ails the United States in the Ryder Cup.
The one criticism I keep hearing about the United States in Ryder Cup competition is too much deferring by the captain, too much a team by committee. I also keep hearing the PGA of America and its new president Ted Bishop wants to shake things up. So what better way to go back in time than bring back Tom Watson, which my sources say they plan to do.
Is Tom Watson A Smart Choice For Ryder Cup Captain?
With the announcement being official, Watson has the task of putting together a team that will get the United States back on top in an event it used to dominate.
Since 1979, when the current format between the United States and Europe began, the Europeans hold a 9-7-1 advantage in the Ryder Cup, including seven of the last nine. The United States hasn't won back-to-back Ryder Cups since 1991 and 1993.
Watson's resume certainly speaks for itself. He won eight major championships in his career, including five British Open titles, and 70 professional wins. He is a six-time PGA Tour Player of the Year (1977-80, 1982, 1984) and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988.
All of those accolades make Watson a smart choice to captain the Ryder Cup ship for the United States, but now is when the real work begins for everyone involved. He will have to use the next 15 months putting together a team that can get the Ryder Cup Trophy back to the United States.