About Us Contact Us Advertise Newsletter

Golf news, golf reports, golf headlines, golf updates,golf features

Golf Today > News Archive > 2008 Archive >


Paul Azinger won't return as Ryder Cup captain

Paul Azinger will not return as U.S. captain in the Ryder Cup after leading the Americans to their only victory this decade.

The PGA of America will announce the new captain on Thursday, with all indications that it will be Corey Pavin.

“It ain’t gonna be me,” Azinger told The Associated Press on Monday. “I am not the captain.”

American players lobbied for Azinger to return as captain in 2010 when the Ryder Cup is played in Wales, and the former PGA champion was said to be considering it.

Azinger was coy last week at the Father-Son Championship when asked whether he would like to return. Jack Nicklaus in 1983 was the last American to be captain more than once, and the Americans have not had a captain repeat since Ben Hogan in 1949.

Instead, Azinger deferred to the PGA of America.

“I don’t want to jump the gun and try to get the message out ahead of when they want the message out,” Azinger said Thursday.

PGA officials plan to introduce the next captain Thursday in New York. PGA spokesman Julius Mason declined comment.

Europe had won the Ryder Cup three consecutive times—the previous two matches by record scores—when Azinger took over and persuaded the PGA of America to revamp the qualification process to base it exclusively on money, with more weight on the majors. He also had a record four captain’s picks.

When they arrived at Valhalla, Azinger broke his 12-man team into three pods of personality traits and kept them together in practice rounds and matches, telling them to take ownership of their group.

Even without Tiger Woods, the Americans won the opening session and never trailing in a 15 1/2 -12 1/2 victory.

Azinger was feted as “Captain America,” and Phil Mickelson and Justin Leonard were among the players who shouted “Azinger in 2010” during the winning press conference.

PGA chief executive Joe Steranka had said the next captain likely would not be announced until early next year because he wanted this team to enjoy the victory as long as possible.

Pavin has been the top candidate all along.

He was a frequent visitor to the PGA’s hospitality room at Oakland Hills during the PGA Championship and was among the top Ryder Cup players during the peak of his career.

Pavin, whose lone major title was the 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, had an 8-5-0 record in three Ryder Cup appearances, two of them U.S. victories. He last played in the Ryder Cup in 1995 at Oak Hill, and he was one of Tom Lehman’s assistants in Ireland two years ago.


December 9, 2008

Golf Today Classifieds

Bookmark page with:
What are these Email This Page Subscribe Follow us on Twitter Top of Page
News Tours Rankings Tuition Course Directory Equipment Asian Travel Notice Board

© Golftoday.co.uk 1996-2014