Davis Love III named Ryder captain

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Davis Love III was named 2016 U.S. Ryder Cup captain on Tuesday, becoming just the second American in the 80-plus-year history of the event to get a second opportunity after losing in the first.

Love, 50, was the U.S. captain when the Americans suffered an excruciating 14 ½ to 13 ½ defeat in 2012 at Medinah, where Europe staged a Sunday rally to overcome a 4-point deficit.

"I'm here with the same goal as 2012, but not as the same captain," Love said. "I don't think we have to make massive changes. We have to make small changes to get a half a point here, a half a point there."

And yet the PGA of America, which administers the U.S. Ryder Cup effort and picks the captain, announced several changes after an 11-member task force was formed in the wake of September's 16 ½ to 11 ½ loss to Europe at Gleneagles.

Love will get four captain's picks, up from the three that Tom Watson had last year, and they will be selected later, with a final pick coming just a week prior to the Ryder Cup.

Eight members of the team will be selected based on a points process that begins at next week's WGC-Cadillac Championship and will run through the Barclays tournament in 2016. Only the World Golf Championships, the Players Championship and the four major championships will count this year.

Starting in January, players will receive points -- based on money earnings -- at all PGA Tour events with the majors counting double.

The PGA of America also announced the formation of a six-person Ryder Cup committee that will include Love, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and three PGA of America officials, including CEO Pete Bevacqua. They will be charged with helping name vice captains as well as future captains.

"It's a new business model, a new team building model that comes from being given an opportunity by the PGA of America to come together and use all of our veteran experience to build a new team culture and consistent plan for the future," Love said. "Why the shift now, and not after 2010 or 2012? Simply, we want to win. What we created is a new process for continuity and teamwork which will prepare us for many years of success.

"So 2016 will be a collaborative effort of many individuals from the task force, past Ryder Cup Captains, veteran players of The Ryder Cup to create the best environment for our team to be totally prepared to compete at Hazeltine National."

The U.S. has lost the last three Ryder Cups, six of seven and eight of 10. Two of the last three, however, were by a half point.

Mickelson and fellow task force members Rickie Fowler and Tom Lehman were in attendance Tuesday. Lehman, the 2006 captain, will be a vice captain next year at Hazeltine. Bevacqua announced that there will be four vice captains going forward, with two who were past captains and two who have lots of Ryder Cup playing experience, with an eye toward being a future captain.

It was Mickelson who ultimately sparked the formation of a task force. On the Sunday evening after the U.S. defeat at Gleneagles, the 10-time Ryder Cup participant - who has gone 5-2 in his last two appearances - was outspoken about a lack of continuity. Although he didn't specifically address Watson, his comments were viewed as highly critical of his captaincy.

"It's really a positive step and as we look long term over the next 10 Ryder Cups, over the next two decades, I think it's exciting," Mickelson said Tuesday. "What we are trying to lay down here this upcoming Ryder Cup and the input that is being taken in by Davis by all different parties, and implemented as kind of a blueprint or foundation for the upcoming multiple Ryder Cups, not just this next one. It's exciting for the generations to follow."

Mickelson said that Love initially did not want the job a second time.

"He felt like he was taking somebody's spot," Mickelson said. "He felt like it wasn't his place to do that. But when you look at big picture, if you look at like 2016, there are a number of people that could be great captains that could help lead us to hopefully a successful week, whether it's Fred Couples and Paul Azinger, the names that were being thrown out to other players like Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker and a few others that were even discussed."

"But when you look at big picture over the next 10 Ryder Cups and trying to build a platform and a blueprint to follow and have continuity from year to year, you want to have somebody that has experience. You want to have somebody that can look back on past things that have been done well and things that could be improved upon, which Davis in 2012 did a lot of great things right; and he did some things that he would like to do differently."

Love joins Jack Burke Jr. as the only U.S. captains to get a second chance after a defeat. Burke led the losing side in 1957, then captained a winning U.S. team in 1973. Love is also just the fourth American to play in six Ryder Cups and captain the team twice, joining Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

The task force first met in December and again last month at Torrey Pines. Other former captains and players on the task force were Raymond Floyd, Furyk and Stricker.

"I want to congratulate Davis on his selection," Woods said in a statement. "I have great respect for him as a person, player and captain. I know he'll do an outstanding job leading the 2016 US Team. I'm proud of what the task force accomplished, making substantive changes in the captain's selection process and qualifying system. It's also an honor to be on the PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee, helping select future captains, vice captains and other duties. We are all fully committed to winning back the Cup in 2016 and beyond."