Davis Love set to be confirmed as US Ryder Cup captain

Paul Azinger has welcomed reports Davis Love will captain the US Ryder Cup team for the second time at Hazeltine in 2016. 

Davis Love set to be confirmed as US Ryder Cup captain

Azinger, the last US captain to lift the trophy in 2008, and three-time Presidents Cup-winning captain Fred Couples were the favourites to succeed Tom Watson and attempt to end a run of three straight defeats.

However, the Golf Channel reported Love will be appointed next week and thereby given the chance for redemption after being on the wrong end of the ’Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012, when his side lost despite leading 10-6 going into the final day’s singles.

“If true, I believe Davis is an excellent choice to lead US Ryder Cup in 2016,” Azinger wrote on Twitter.

The 55-year-old added in texts to Golf Channel.com: “He’s still connected to the players. He was very prepared and thorough in 2012. Davis will bring much-needed continuity to the process. I had no interest in being the captain in 2016 for many reasons, personal and business. I suggested Davis to the powers that be at the PGA. He’s a logical choice if he wants it.”

Love was part of an 11-man task force charged with looking into all aspects of the US’s approach to the Ryder Cup after they suffered an eighth defeat in the last 10 contests at Gleneagles in September.

A statement from the PGA of America read: “It is premature to discuss the US Ryder Cup captaincy and we are not prepared to comment at this time.”

Love’s agent, Mac Barnhardt of Lagardere Unlimited, was quoted by Golfweek as saying: “I don’t have confirmation of it. I don’t have denial of it, either.”

An official announcement is expected to be made on February 24 at PGA of America headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida.

Europe’s captain to defend the trophy is due to be named today, with Darren Clarke the favourite ahead of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thomas Bjorn.

The five-man selection panel – comprised of the three most recent captains Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie, European Tour chief executive George O’Grady and players representative David Howell – will meet at Wentworth to vote on McGinley’s successor.

Meanwhile Ireland will be looking to better last year’s fourth-placed finish when the European Nations Team Championship gets underway at Sotogrande in Spain today

The Irish quartet includes Jack Hume (Naas) and 2014 European Amateur Championship runner-up Gary Hurley (West Waterford/NUIM) who both competed at this event last year, with Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint) and current Scottish Open Stroke Play Champion Gavin Moynihan (The Island) completing the line-up. Scotland won the event in 2014 while England have won the title four times in the past six years.

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