The Man Out Front is still trying to understand that Sweden’s Henrik Stenson joined LIV Golf and then showed surprise that it cost the former British Open champion possibly the biggest honor of his career, captaining the European team of the Ryder Cup 2023.
The LIV Golf defections likely mean that Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell are also off the list of future Team Euro Ryder Cup captains. What about Team USA? In particular, Phil Mickelson and, later, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson probably took their names out of consideration.
Meanwhile, Team USA brings stability to the 2022 Presidents Cup with two-time Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III receiving another turn at the helm.
“We’ve talked about it for three or four years, maybe longer, about me participating in the Presidents Cup in Charlotte,” Love, a Tar Heel State native and North Carolina graduate, told TMOF of this year’s event in Quail Hollow Club, September 22. -25. “I told Tim Finchem and Jay Monahan no. I said, ‘I have to end this. We need some new guys.
“Tiger called me and told me that they had decided that I should be the captain. I called Jay and he was like, ‘Look, you’re a lifelong player on the PGA Tour. He has put a lot into the Presidents Cup. You’re going to be captain and Charlotte is the place to do it. When Tiger, Jay, and the rest of our group point the finger at you, I’m honored to do so.”
Members of the group formerly known as The Task Force had a succession plan. Then Woods, the victorious captain of Team USA in the 2019 Presidents Cup, was involved in a car accident and LIV Golf shook things up. It meant that Zach Johnson was promoted to the Ryder Cup concert in Italy in 2023.
“The order is a bit messy,” Love admitted.
If Mickelson is out of the rotation, does that mean there could still be a chance for Fred Couples to get the Ryder Cup job in 2025 or beyond?
“I hope so,” Love said. “This next generation of Will Zalatoris and Cameron Young, they need to meet Fred Couples. Arnie (Palmer) and Ken Venturi did it at an older age long after he had finished their playing careers. Another generation got to know them. So I think it would be good. It really wasn’t overlooked. He just jumped into the Presidents Cup and did three in a row. The order is wrong, and who knows how far away it is. Does Tiger want Bethpage (at 25) or does he want to wait? I don’t think he’s done for Fred, because we’re in a weird zone.”
Future Presidents Cup sites include Quail Hollow, Royal Montreal, Medinah and more
The story originally appeared on GolfWeek