Tiger Woods turns down US Ryder Cup captaincy with Keegan Bradley set to take his place


Tiger Woods - Tiger Woods turns down US Ryder Cup captaincy with Keegan Bradley set to take his place

It is understood that Tiger Woods wanted to reduce the normal captaincy commitments – Getty Images/Franck Fife

Tiger Woods has turned down the opportunity to captain the USA at next year’s Ryder Cup at Bethpage.

The PGA of America are expected to announced Keegan Bradley as their captain in New York on Tuesday after picking the two-time Ryder Cup player over Stewart Cink, Fred Couples and Davis Love III.

Woods, 48, questioned at the US PGA two months ago if he would have time to succeed Zach Johnson, citing his involvement in the peace negotiations between the PGA Tour and the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which bankrolled LIV.

Many will view this as Woods – whose Ryder Cup record as a player was hugely unimpressive – showing a lack of commitment to his country, but since his reinvention as a mentor to many of the younger US players, this is a difficult accusation to wage.

Speculation will build that Woods will assume the role for the 2027 match in Co. Limerick. Woods is close to JP McManus, the owner of host venue Adare Manor and to be the first US captain to win away in 34 years would fit in nicely on his CV.

As it was, it is understood that Woods was prepared to take on the position if the PGA of America – which oversees the US arm of the biennial dust-up – reduced the normal exhaustive captaincy commitments ahead of the match. But no deal was evidently reached and with the clock ticking, they were forced to look elsewhere. Europe confirmed that Luke Donald was to serve a second term eight months ago.

McIlroy attends Team Europe dinner with wife

Bradley was overlooked for the Ryder Cup at Marco Simeone last year as captain Johnson decided to pick Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler in place of the 2011 PGA Championship winner. Bradley won twice last year, the Zozo and Travelers Championship, but had to rely on a captain’s pick after just missing out on automatic qualification.

The 38-year-old, a six-time PGA Tour winner, has a 4-2 record in Ryder Cups having starred in two Ryder Cups in 2012 and 2014.

Cink, the 2009 Open champion, was the most obvious alternative, but with the match taking place at Bethpage, just 45 minutes from Manhattan, they might have been tempted into siding with a more animated and passionate individual to harness the support of what is expected to be a raucous home crowd.

Donald has already hosted a few dinners with prospective players of his team. The most recent was on Sunday in London, which Rory McIlroy attended with his wife Erica. McIlroy filed for divorce two months ago, but four weeks later withdrew the court papers and announced they were staying together.

McIlroy is in action this week as defending champion at the Scottish Open on his first competitive outing since bogeying three of the last four holes at last month’s US Open. Woods and McIlroy are both scheduled to tee it up in next week’s Open Championship at Royal Troon, the final male major of the season.

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