The 40th Ryder Cup will be held at Gleneagles in Scotland in September 2014, and American captain Tom Watson is already making waves. Watson vowed to name one of his assistant captains Wednesday, and he came through with an experienced former player who should be a major asset to the squad.
According to Jason Sobel of GolfChannel.com, Watson announced that Andy North would serve as an assistant captain for the United States next year.
BREAKING: Tom Watson names a familiar face as his first Ryder Cup assistant captain: Two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) July 3, 2013
The move is somewhat surprising, as North is entrenched as an analyst with ESPN. With that said, it makes plenty of sense, as North knows how to win on the big stage. North is a two-time U.S. Open champion, having won the tournament in 1978 and 1985. North was also a part of the 1985 United States Ryder Cup team.
While Watson will do the bulk of the managing as team captain, North will likely play a crucial role as well. Look for Watson to confide in North and ask his opinions for pairings and order of play. North will also be counted on to impart some of his wisdom to the players, as he has seen and done it all in the sport of golf.
Is North a smart selection on Watson's part?
Additionally, North will help Watson make his captain's picks, which could prove crucial to the event. Watson will be obligated to take the top eight Americans on the Ryder Cup points list, but he will also have the luxury of selecting four additional players.
North is a guy who sees these players compete on a weekly basis, so his input promises to be absolutely integral in helping Watson make the right selections.
Captain Davis Love III had four vice captains in 2012, so Watson will have three more picks. Bringing in North seems like calculated decision on Watson's part, though, and it should pay big dividends moving forward.
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