Leading duo join task force


Published: Tuesday 14th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are part of an 11-strong “task force” created to examine all aspects of the US Ryder Cup process in the wake of last month’s defeat at Gleneagles.

But the man praised by Mickelson as creating a winning formula, 2008 captain Paul Azinger, has turned down the chance to formally take part.

In a statement on their website, the PGA of America said the task force would examine the selection of Ryder Cup captains and vice-captains, the qualifying system, the dates by which the team is determined and the timing of wild card selections.

“The Ryder Cup is our most prized competitive asset and the PGA of America is committed to utilizing our utmost energy and resources to support one of the biggest events in all of sport,” PGA of America president Ted Bishop said.

“The Ryder Cup Task Force, co-chaired by (PGA vice president) Derek Sprague and (PGA chief executive officer) Pete Bevacqua, is an exciting and comprehensive initiative that will guide the PGA in developing the right strategy and building ongoing processes and infrastructure for future generations of US teams.”

In addition to Sprague and Bevacqua, the members of the task force are former captains Raymond Floyd, Tom Lehman and Davis Love, former players Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Woods and PGA secretary Paul Levy.

Woods, who was not part of the team in Gleneagles, said: “I think this is a great step by the PGA to accomplish what we all want – to win the Ryder Cup.

“The Ryder Cup is very important to every player who has the honour to represent his country. I’m excited to be part of this group.”

Azinger is the only man to lead the United States to victory in the biennial contest this century and his approach was hailed by Mickelson in the US team’s press conference in the immediate aftermath of the five-point loss in Scotland.

The 54-year-old has not ruled out being captain for a second time but did not want to be part of the task force.

“I think Paul felt more comfortable with us talking in a small setting,” Bevacqua was quoted as saying by the Golf Channel.

Published: Tuesday 14th October 2014 by The News Editor

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