Azinger: Love the right man

Love, who presided over the shock defeat at Medinah in 2012, will lead the side at Hazeltine while the PGA of America also made substantial changes to the qualifying criteria and the team set-up.

A six-man task-force, including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, will help Love with his preparations for the contest as the USA bid for just their third victory in 11 Ryder Cups in Minnesota.

Azinger had been widely tipped to be offered the captaincy having led the team to victory at Valhalla in 2008, but he asked not to be considered for the role due to personal and business reasons.

Following the announcement of Love as captain, Azinger told the Golf Channel: “Davis is an excellent choice for many reasons. He’s still connected to the players, he was very prepared and thorough in 2012 and he will bring much needed continuity to the process.

“There is no magical formula. The captain creates the right environment to get everyone invested.”

Ryder Cup veteran Jim Furyk, who was part of an 11-man Ryder Cup task force set up following last year’s defeat at Gleneagles, believes the new American set-up is now similar to the one which has served Europe so well in recent years.

“They’ve done a good job as far as an organisational standpoint,” Furyk told Reuters. “We are just trying to give our team the best opportunity to succeed and do well, and it shouldn’t be about what has happened in the past.

“It should be a fresh start in what we are trying to accomplish. We need to set goals which are 20 years in the making, take a look-ahead into the future and hopefully be successful for the next 20 years.”

PGA of America president Derek Sprague, who is also the co-chairman of the Ryder Cup task force, added: ???Today marks a new era in US Ryder Cup history, and we could not be more pleased that Davis Love III will be our captain.

“Davis brings a unique perspective and experience of having served as captain, vice-captain and as a key player on six Ryder Cup teams. Davis, who has the utmost respect of his peers, will bring his vast Ryder Cup knowledge to lead Team USA in 2016.

???Our sincere thanks to the members of the Ryder Cup Task Force for their commitment to drive change that we all believe will result in a better process for Team USA going forward.???

Keegan Bradley, who won three matches with Mickelson on his debut at Medinah, added:??”We let him down on Sunday in Chicago. He deserves another chance to win the Ryder Cup.

“He’s connected with the players. He still plays out here. We all know him very well and we respect him and want to win that Ryder cup for him.”

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