Love officially named U.S. Ryder Cup captain

Palm Beach Gardens, FL ( - Davis Love III has been named the United States captain for the 2016 Ryder Cup after more than a week of speculation.

Love captained the 2012 team that lost 14 1/2 - 13 1/2 after owning a 10-6 lead entering Sunday's singles matches at Medinah. The four-point comeback by the Europeans matched the largest in event history.

The 50-year-old Love was a member of the 1999 team that erased a four-point deficit at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. He played on six Ryder Cup teams and won the 1997 PGA Championship for his lone major title.

Love posted a career record of 9-12-5 in Ryder Cup play. Prior to being a captain, he previously served as an assistant captain in 2010 under Corey Pavin in Wales.

With his return, Love becomes the second straight, and eighth man overall, to captain multiple U.S. Ryder Cup teams. The other seven were Walter Hagen, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Burke, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson.

"It's an honor to be here not only as a member of the PGA of America, but also U.S. Ryder Cup family. I am here today with the same goal I had in 2012, but not as the same captain," Love stated. "The Ryder Cup task force has been an open, honest, team-building experience. The collaborative effort of so many veterans of the Ryder Cup is a result of the passion and commitment to build a team structure that will lay the groundwork for future teams."

Following Watson's second go-round at the 2014 Ryder Cup, the PGA of America created a task force to study everything about the United States Ryder Cup process. Love was part of that task force.

Six members of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force were at the announcement - Love, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua, PGA of America president Derek Sprague and PGA of America vice president Paul Levy. That task force will transition into a committee with Love, Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Sprague, Bevacqua and Levy.

"This has been such a fun experience for all of us because we're all so passionate about the Ryder Cup and for many years that we've all competed, we really haven't had the opportunity to voice our opinion and have it be heard," Mickelson stated. "It was very interesting for me to hear such great insight from so many players ... to get everybody together, to have an opportunity to have a voice and to be heard and to actually make an impact and have a difference, it's exciting for everybody here. It's really a positive step."

Tom Lehman, the 2006 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, was named vice captain and with the new plans implemented, he won't be the only one. Coming out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force, that group has implemented a plan to have four vice captains - two of which were past captains and two with extensive Ryder Cup experience.

"First of all, I'm thrilled for Davis. Davis was a great captain and will continue to be a great captain. It will be an honor to serve with him on this 2016 team," said Lehman. "On a personal level, being from Minnesota, to be able to go back home and be a part of this Ryder Cup team, it will be a thrill beyond all thrills."

Another change will be when the team is named and when U.S. captains picks are announced. The top-eight players on the points list will earn a spot on the team after The Barclays ends on Aug. 28, 2016. Love will name three of his captain's picks after the BMW Championship and he will name his final pick at the conclusion of the Tour Championship.

"I think it's a huge change. As Pete said, the Olympic year (2016) really made us really look at everything. We can't obviously end the points at the PGA Championship that early, so it gave us flexibility to do it where we thought was best," Love explained. "You like to wait to the last minute. Take the guy who made the last putt, who's really hot and ready to go. I got down it with Brandt Snedeker (in 2012), and he ended up, the next few weeks, he played well. But we had to take a guess and project the future a little bit. We like waiting as long as we can to take the players who are ready to go."

The final change will be to the points system. Players will earn one point per $1,000 earned at the four majors in 2015 and one point per $2,000 earned at the 2015 World Golf Championships and Players Championship. In 2016, players will gain one point per $1,000 earned at regular tour events and two points per $1,000 earned at the four major championships. Players in opposite field PGA Tour events will not receive any points.

"I want to congratulate Davis on his selection. I have great respect for him as a person, player & captain. I know he'll do an outstanding job leading the 2016 U.S. team," Woods said in a statement. "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 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."

Europe selected Darren Clarke as its next captain last week. The 2016 Ryder Cup will take place at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.