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Watson named US Ryder Cup captain for Gleneagles

ESPN staff
December 13, 2012 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »

Tom Watson will become the oldest American captain in Ryder Cup history after it was confirmed he will lead the USA team at Gleneagles in 2014.

The eight-time major champion, who will be 65 when the competition arrives in Scotland in September 2014, captained his nation to victory on British soil at The Belfry in 1993.

The USA have lost five of the last six editions of the tournament and have not won overseas since Watson was at the helm.

"I hope to change the tide of losing the Ryder Cup," Watson said.

Watson had not been in the frame for the role until he expressed his interest in the captaincy following the Australian Open last weekend. David Toms had been the clear choice to succeed Davis Love III, who saw his side collapse to a 14½-13½ defeat, having led 10-6 heading into Sunday's singles matches.

"Tom always has been a wonderful golfer and remains one, but he is also a good leader," Jack Nicklaus said. "He has had a lot of experience in the Ryder Cup, as a player and a previous captain. So I am certain that when he goes to Gleneagles, he will prepare properly to do a nice job. And one thing is for certain, he will be well embraced by the people and golf fans in Scotland."

Tiger Woods was quick to offer his congratulations to Watson on Thursday. The veteran was critical of the former world No. 1 following a poor showing at Medinah in September, when he failed to win a single match.

"I'd like to congratulate Tom Watson on his selection as Ryder Cup captain," Woods said Thursday. "I think he's a really good choice. Tom knows what it takes to win, and that's our ultimate goal. I hope I have the privilege of joining him on the 2014 United States team."

Watson's European counterpart is expected to be named in January, with Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke the leading contenders for the position.

Watson played in four Ryder Cups between 1977 and 1989, winning nine of his 14 matches.

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