Davis Love will captain the United States Ryder Cup team for the second time in 2016, according to a report by the Golf Channel.
Love was captain in 2012 when the home side led 10-6 going into the final day’s singles only to lose 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 after an inspired European fightback labelled the ‘Miracle at Medinah’.
The 50-year-old was part of an 11-man task force charged to look into all aspects of the United States’ 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.”
The Golf Channel reported that an official announcement will be made onFebruary 24 at PGA of America headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida.
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.”
The founding of the task force was sparked by Phil Mickelson’s public criticism of 2014 captain Tom Watson immediately after the loss at Gleneagles.
Mickelson, who was left out of a full day’s play for the first time in his Ryder Cup career in Scotland, said: “Unfortunately we have strayed from a winning formula for the last three Ryder Cups, and we need to consider maybe getting back to that formula that helped us play our best.”
That seemed to point to a second spell as captain for successful 2008 skipper Paul Azinger, with three-time Presidents Cup-winning captain Fred Couples also a strong contender.
Love was not being talked about in the same terms but could now become the eighth man to captain the United States on multiple occasions, joining Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Burke, Jack Nicklaus and Watson.
Europe’s captain to defend the trophy at Hazeltine in 2016 is due to be namedon Wednesday, 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.
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