PGA of America to Name 2014 Ryder Cup Captain Thursday

PGA of America president Ted Bishop will announce the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain this week. The announcement is expected to come Thursday during the 8:30 a.m. segment on NBC's "Today" show.

So far, identifying the next captain has been the source of much conjecture, with David Toms' name most prominent since, in recent years, the PGA of America has named former major champions between the ages of 45 and 50.

The past three captains who've fit that description have been Paul Azinger, Corey Pavin and Davis Love III. Of those three only Azinger has led the Americans to victory.

Others under discussion to lead the Yanks in the 40th Ryder Cup have included Tom Watson and Larry Nelson. The 63-year-old Watson has won eight Grand Slam titles, along with six majors on the Champions Tour. Nelson, 65, a veteran of the Vietnam War and a long-time candidate for the captain's role, is a three-time major winner.

On Tuesday, Azinger tweeted: "The American Ryder Cup captain will be picked soon. If its [sic] not @davidtomsgolf or @Larry-Nelson I'll be shocked."

During a media luncheon in New York on Tuesday, Bishop admitted that the selection criteria aren't the same as in years past. "We've done something a little bit different this year," he told reporters.

Last week Watson noted it "would be a great honor" to captain the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team, though he said he hadn't been approached by the PGA of America for the position.

When asked about Watson, who led the USA to a 15-13 win at The Belfry in 1993, Bishop said the PGA is only interested in helping the team to a victory. "The role of the PGA of America in naming a Ryder Cup captain should not be to name somebody to reward them for their previous playing experiences.

"We need to look for captains that are going to put our team in the best position to win it," he added. "We're tired of losing. And whether it's (Watson) or it's somebody else, that's what our mission is."

As for being appointed captain, Toms said, "To be able to captain a U.S. team and get a victory would be one of the highlights of my career - if not the highlight. It's the best event in golf."

The Americans will try to bring the Ryder Cup back to the U.S. when it plays the European team in two years at Gleneagles in Scotland on September 26-28. Europe is expected to name its 2014 captain sometime in January.