Golf: US confirms Love as captain for 2016 Ryder Cup, more time for picks

Davis Love III holds the Ryder Cup Trophy as he poses for the media during his announcement as the 2016 United States Ryder Cup Team Captain at the PGA headquarters on Feb 24, 2015 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. -- PHOTO: AFP
Davis Love III holds the Ryder Cup Trophy as he poses for the media during his announcement as the 2016 United States Ryder Cup Team Captain at the PGA headquarters on Feb 24, 2015 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. -- PHOTO: AFP

PALM BEACH GARDENS (AFP) - Davis Love was confirmed on Tuesday as the United States team captain for the 2016 Ryder Cup and a new system allowing more weeks for captain's picks was also unveiled.

Love, given the chance at redemption after his 2012 team suffered the worst last-day American collapse in history, was named a week after the Golf Channel reported his selection, the PGA of America making it official with a posting on its website.

The group also announced that the qualifying process for eight berths on the 2016 team will be extended by two weeks compared to the 2014 team's timetable and that three wildcard picks will be made two weeks after that with a final pick not chosen until after the season-ending Tour Championship.

Later selections will ensure players who are on form in the playoffs can have their efforts considered when team spots are decided, a concern last year when picks came before the final tournaments.

Love captained the 2012 team that lost 14 1/2 - 13 1/2 at Medinah after leading 10-6 entering Sunday's singles matches. Europe matched the largest last-day comeback in Ryder Cup history, the 1999 rally at The Country Club in the "Battle of Brookline" by a US team that included Love.

"I am thrilled to be the Team USA captain and represent our country as we work to win back the Ryder Cup," Love said. "It is a great honor to be in the position to help build the team, but our mission doesn't end there. What we accomplish in 2016 at Hazeltine must serve as the foundation for future USA Ryder Cup teams."

Entering next year's matches at Hazeltine in suburban Minneapolis, 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 golfers.

Love captained the 2012 team that lost 14 1/2 - 13 1/2 at Medinah after leading 10-6 entering Sunday's singles matches. Europe matched the largest last-day comeback in Ryder Cup history, the 1999 rally at The Country Club in the "Battle of Brookline" by a US team that included Love.

A Tom Watson-guided US side lost last year at Gleneagles and divisions among the players led to the creation of a task force to improve the US Ryder Cup effort.

It was that group, which included Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, that selected Love and made changes to how the next team will be chosen.

A subset of the task force will continue as an ongoing Ryder Cup committee, including Woods, Mickelson and Love. The group will identify future captains and consult on a wide array of Cup-related matters. Its members helped install changes to the player and captain selection process.

"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," PGA of America president Derek Sprague said.

More time for captain's picks

Among the changes are rules that two of four US vice captains must be past US Ryder Cup captains.

Eight players will make the US team from the lengthened qualifying points system, which again emphasizes results from the year the Cup is played and major championships.

It will run from the start of 2015 and run through August 28, 2016, the scheduled final day of the Barclays, the first US PGA Tour playoff event.

Three of the four captain's picks to be made by Love will be announced after the conclusion of the BMW Championship on Sept 11, 2016 but the final captain's choice will not be made until Sept 25, 2016, after the conclusion of the season-ending Tour Championship.

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke was selected last week as European captain for the 2016 Ryder Cup.

Love, who named Tom Lehman as an assistant captain, becomes the eighth man to captain multiple US teams, but only the second to have another chance after a loss.

Love, 50, was the 1997 PGA Championship winner. He had a 9-12 with 5 halved record in six Ryder Cup appearances.