Couples could be 2016 Ryder Cup captain

If Tom Watson was a surprise choice as Ryder Cup captain for Gleneagles in 2014, the decision over who should lead the American side in 2016 would appear to be a no-brainer.

Golf News: Fred Couples

Fred Couples made five appearances in the Ryder Cup as a player, winning twice, losing twice and competing in the 14-14 draw at the Belfry in 1989, while he also won the World Cup four years in succession with Davis Love from 1992.

At the weekend, Couples captained the United States to victory in the Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village, his third win in succession as skipper adding to three victories as a player.

Add in the fact that Couples then promptly said he would not lead the side again and it was easy to put two and two together and come up with 2016.

"A three-peat is good enough for me," said Couples, who also acknowledged that "there's another team competition that we haven't won that many times" in the last 20 years - Europe has won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups.

So far, so good. But is there anything to stop the 54-year-old from leading the US team at Hazeltine?

The main thing might just be Couples himself. A famously laid-back character who once said he did not like answering the phone because there might be someone on the other end, will Couples want to put himself through the strain of the

Ryder Cup, which requires a two-year commitment leading up to an event far more intense than the Presidents Cup?

Secondly, as Watson's appointment proves, there is nothing to stop the PGA of America springing a surprise with its choice. If Watson succeeds at Gleneagles it may be tempted to stick with a winning formula.

If the five-time Open champion fails, a return to their most recent winning captain in Paul Azinger might be popular. It has already been suggested that Couples taking the Presidents Cup captaincy three times might rule him out of the

Ryder Cup role due to golf's version of political in-fighting.

What does seem certain is that if the American players had their way - as some of Europe's top stars did in the choice of Paul McGinley - Couples' brand of relaxed, consultative captaincy would make him certain to get that call from the PGA of America late next year.

Just do not bet on him answering.

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