Golf: Love to return as US Ryder Cup captain: Report

Davis Love III plays his second shot on the 15th hole during the second round of the Sony Open In Hawaii at Waialae Country Club on Jan 16, 2015, in Honolulu, Hawaii. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Davis Love III plays his second shot on the 15th hole during the second round of the Sony Open In Hawaii at Waialae Country Club on Jan 16, 2015, in Honolulu, Hawaii. -- PHOTO: AFP 

MIAMI (AFP) - Davis Love, who captained the US Ryder Cup team that lost a 2012 heartbreaker at Medinah, will return to guide the Americans against Europe in 2016, Golf Channel reported on Monday.

The report on the network's website said the PGA of America will announce Love as the choice to captain the US team next year at Hazeltine on February 24 at its Florida headquarters.

Love, 50, was selected after several meetings by an 11-man Ryder Cup task force charged with improving US results in the wake of a divisive 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 US loss to Europe last year at Gleneagles with Tom Watson guiding the Americans.

Americans have lost eight of the past 10 Ryder Cups, including the past three in a row and six of the past seven meetings with Europe's top players.

The task force met for four hours two weeks ago in San Diego, but it was unclear how much influence players or the PGA of America had in the decision.

In 2012, Love's US squad led 10-6 entering Sunday singles matches only to have Europe match the best last-day rally in Cup history to keep the trophy 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.

Repeating captains has been rare for the US side. Watson, who was captain at a 1993 US win at Gleneagles that is the most recent for the Americans on European soil, had been the first repeat US Ryder Cup captain since Jack Nicklaus in 1983 and 1987.

Love would become only the eighth man to captain the US Ryder Cup squad more than once, a list that includes Watson, Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Jack Burke, San Snead, Ben Hogan and Walter Hagen. Of those, only Burke lost his debut but received a second chance.

Among others thought to be contenders for the job were Fred Couples, a close friend of Love who has a 3-0 record as US captain in the Presidents Cup against a non-European global squad, and Paul Azinger, who was captain for the most recent US triumph in 2008 at Valhalla.

The Golf Channel report said Steve Stricker and Tom Lehman, both members of the US Ryder Cup task force, are likely to be involved in the 2016 matches as well, possibly as assistant captains.

Love has won 20 PGA titles, his lone major among them coming at the 1997 PGA Championship. His most recent victory came at the 2008 Children's Miracle Network Classic.