Tom Watson named as US Ryder Cup captain

Watson is the oldest Ryder Cup captain in history

Golfing great Tom Watson - at 63 old enough to be Rory McIlroy's grandfather - was today named as the oldest Ryder Cup captain in history.

In the boldest of moves possible, the PGA of America confirmed Watson had been given back the job he did at The Belfry in 1993 - the last time Europe lost at home - and entrusted with the task of ending a run of five American defeats in the last six matches.

By the time he leads the United States out at Gleneagles in September 2014, the five-time Open champion - so close to winning the Claret Jug again just three years ago - will be 65.

That will make him eight years older than America's previous record-holder Sam Snead and three years older than JH Taylor was when he led Britain, as it was then, back in 1933.

Watson, who last weekend made the cut at the Australian Open and then was the only player to break 70 on the final day, looks certain to be up against either Darren Clarke or Paul McGinley, 44 and 45 respectively. That decision is expected next month.

Four years ago Europe lost under 51-year-old Nick Faldo and it was decided after that to go for younger men who were more in touch with the current stars.

Colin Montgomerie did it in Wales at 47 in 2010 and Jose Maria Olazabal this year at 46. Seve Ballesteros was only 40 at Valderrama in 1997.

The policy has worked then for Europe, but the PGA of America, which has not had anybody older than 50 in charge since Snead in 1969, has decided it is time for a change of approach.

President Ted Bishop said ahead of the announcement: "I think we've done something a little bit different.

"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.

"We're tired of losing. And whether it's him (Watson) or it's somebody else, that's what our mission is."

The victory under Watson 19 years ago was the only time Europe has lost on home soil since 1981.

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate